Report: Leicester City boss Ranieri wants to sign Carlton Cole

The former West Ham and Chelsea striker is also still on the radar of West Brom, having been denied a move to the Hawthorns in January.

New Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri was famous for making use of an extended squad of players during his Chelsea days, and the Mirror are reporting that the Italian is set to increase the striker ranks at the King Power Stadium with the signing of a player that is very familiar to the 63-year-old.

Ranieri is said to be trailing former West Ham and Blues striker Carlton Cole, with the ex England international available for nothing having been released from Upton Park this summer.

Cole made his debut under Ranieri's reign way back in 2001, and was heralded as a highly promising individual by his then-manager. The striker has flirted with becoming a top Premier League player during his nine year spell with the Hammers, the height of which saw the 31-year-old win seven caps for his country between 2009 and 2010.

However, the forward has struggled to find his goalscoring form under Sam Allardyce in the Premier League, and having looked like he would leave for West Brom earlier this year according to the Mail, Cole was retained in East London for the final few months of the season while his contract wound down.

With 3 goals in 26 matches, it's no surprise that the Hammers would be open to releasing Cole, or that the forward would favour a change. 

Now available for free, it is strange that Ranieri could be considering bringing in another striker to a club that already has the likes of David Nugent, Leonardo Ulloa, Andrej Kramaric and new signing Shinji Okazaki on the books. 

But if he wants someone familiar in his playing staff, with Cole still of an age where he could be of value in the Premier League, Ranieri will have to pull on his relationship with the player in order to convince him to snub rival interest from previous suitors West Brom, as well as Norwich and Aston Villa, according to the Mirror.

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