July 04, 2009

Real Madrid to launch a new bit for Ashley Cole

Real Madrid are said to be launching a bid for Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole.

According to a report in The Sun today, left-back Cole has rejected a new contract at Stamford Bridge as he was not going to be on a par with the highest earners at the club.

As a result, big-spending Madrid president Florentino Perez is set to pounce, with new head coach Manuel Pellegrini known to be a long-term admirer of the full-back.

The former Arsenal star is said to be keen to stay at Chelsea but would be willing to leave if the contract is not right, with Spanish and European champions Barcelona also credited with an interest in his signature.

A "source" close to Cole is quoted in the report as saying, "Ashley loves Chelsea and is genuinely excited about working with new boss Carlo Ancelotti.

"He wants to give the best years of his career to the club but the deal has to be right for such an important contract.

"He needs to feel as valued as any of the club's other top players."

Cole, who has won 73 caps for his country, featured 42 times for the Blues last season and scored once, winning his fifth FA Cup medal in May.

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