Report: New York City FC not interested in Roma defender Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole

The former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back has been linked with a move to Aston Villa this month, but reports have also suggested that he could join ex-Gunners teammate Patrick Vieira at NYCFC instead.

Contrary to recent reports, New York City FC are not targeting a move for Ashley Cole, according to Empire of Soccer.

Cole, 34, has been frozen out of the first-team at Roma and is expected to leave the Stadio Olimpico on a free transfer next month after failing to make a competitive appearance for the Serie A club since March.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back has been linked with a move to Aston Villa after claret and blue counterpart Jordan Amavi was ruled out for the season with cruciate knee ligament damage [h/t Birmingham Mail], but reports have also suggested that he could be heading to MLS instead.

The Daily Mail claimed on Tuesday afternoon that newly appointed NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira is looking to scupper Villa's plans and bring his ex-Gunners teammate to the States, while adding that Cole himself is keen on a move which would also reunite him with Frank Lampard.

However, EoS has reportedly learned that Manchester City’s US-based sister club do not have any interest in the ex-England international, leaving a Premier League return looking the likelier option ahead of the winter transfer window opening in a few weeks' time.

Cole has been linked with a switch to MLS several times in the past, and he even acknowledged following his move to Roma in the summer of 2014 that he had received several offers from American clubs after his contract at Chelsea expired.

However, he caused controversy at the time by claiming that he was “not ready to just sit on a beach”, prompting a host of figures from around the league came out in strong criticism of his comments.

His opinion may well have changed over the past 18 months, but there is still plenty of lingering resentment towards him across the Atlantic, while it is hard to see how NYCFC could even fit him on their roster at present, regardless of their need for left-back help.

The club are currently carrying a full quota of Designated Players with David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Lampard, meaning the 107-times capped Englishman would have to take a significant wage cut from his reported £35,000-per-week earnings at Roma to make a deal happen.

Instead, all the signs point towards Villa being the front-runners for his signature at this stage, although whether he can be convinced to enter a relegation battle with the Premier League's bottom side remains to be seen.

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