Where next for Chelsea's Ashley Cole?

Ashley Cole

With Ashley Cole having all but confirmed his exit from Chelsea via Twitter, there are still a number of options for the veteran full-back.

Ashley Cole's trophy-laden eight-year spell at Chelsea looks set to come to an end this summer with the 33-year-old left-back unlikely to be offered a new deal.

This is this latest in a line of recent disappointments for Cole, who was also left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup. However, the veteran defender will not be short of offers to keep playing at the top level.

Liverpool have been touted as early favourites with manager Brendan Rodgers keen to replace Jose Enrique. Alberto Moreno was another target, but Sevilla's demands as well as interest from Real Madrid have cooled the Merseyside club's interest which opens the door to a move for Cole.

With Cole a free agent after June, it is likely to be a move which appeals to Liverpool. The Reds are in desperate need of Champions League experience ahead of the club's return to the competition for the first time since 2009, and Cole proved that he could still perform at that level in the semi-finals against Atletico Madrid this season.

Manchester United and Manchester City have also been linked, but both are leaning towards long-term signings. United are reportedly closing in on Luke Shaw, while City have turned their attention to Moreno. Cole's wages are also a sticking point with the Citizens due to UEFA's Financial Fair Play restrictions placed upon them.

A move abroad to AS Monaco or Inter Milan could be attractive with Cole nearing the end of his playing career. Monaco could offer him a fantastic wage and he would play regular Champions League football; however, it is not clear if the club want to move in that direction as they have Eric Abidal on their books already.

Under Erick Thohir's stewardship, Inter are looking to build a team with experience at the back and flair up front. Cole could join long-term adversary Nemanja Vidic at the San Siro as the Nerazzurri look to return to Europe's top table.

Cole is in a very fortunate position: he is not short of money and he can still perform at the top level. He has options this summer which many players his age don't, and he would be wise to take his time over them.

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