Ashley Cole will not rule out the possibility of joining Manchester United when his Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season despite a raft of interest from abroad, ESPN understands.
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Cole, 31, will be out of contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer and with the club so far refusing to offer him anything more than a one-year extension - in line with their policy for players over 30 - the left-back is seriosuly considering his options.
It is believed that five European clubs have expressed an interest and made it clear they want to be kept informed of developments, with United thought to be one of them. ESPN understands that three of those clubs are willing to put a firm offer on the table.
The England international would prefer to stay at Chelsea but while many believe a move to Europe will be his most likeliest of options, the player is refusing to rule out a move to one of his current club's biggest rivals.
"Ashley is cool, relaxed about his future and his contract," a source told ESPN. "He wants to stay at Chelsea, but there are no further plans for more talks.
"Everyone at the club can see the sense of offering Ashley a longer contract as he is only just over 30, but until the owner relents there is little point in having more talks.
"As for Manchester United. Why not? Ashley hasn't made up his mind about anything, but there are offers from France, Spain and Italy, so he has a wide choice. You would need to ask him if he fancies going abroad or would stay in England. He won't be going to Russia though.
"There is nothing Ashley has said that would preclude going to Manchester United, but it's Chelsea where he wants to stay, so its really up to Roman Abramovich what happens next."