Former Chelsea and England fullback, Ashley Cole is reported to be working on a deal with Serie A giants A.S. Roma after denying offers from MLS and AS Monaco. The Daily Mail reported that Cole was flying to Italy to begin negotiations on a two-year contract negotiation. Cole became a free agent after he was released by the Blues in May.
After joining Arsenal’s youth program as a youngster Cole played eight seasons for the Gunners and joined Chelsea in 2006 after a controversial departure from Arsenal in which he was fined £100,000 after speaking with Chelsea before the transfer season began. While at Stamford Bridge, Cole scored seven goals in 338 Premier League appearances including helping the Blues win a Premier League title in 2010 and a UEFA Champions League title in 2012.
Cole has won seven FA Cup titles in his time with Chelsea and Arsenal. That is the most in the history of the English game and he won 107 caps for England. Cole retired from international duty before the 2014 World Cup. Making his debut for England’s U-20 team in 1999, Cole moved to the senior England team in 2001.
Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea in the summer of 2013 precipitated Cole’s fall from grace. Having held down the starting left-back spot since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2006, Cole was eventually benched in favor of César Azpilicueta a natural right-back who the Chelsea Manager determined could play on the left side of defense.
Out in the cold for months, Cole made a triumphant return to the Blues side in a stunning 2-0 victory at Anfield on April 27th. This match ultimately cost Liverpool the Premier League title. Cole also featured in the second leg of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League semifinal tie against Atletico Madrid.
Should Cole move to AS Roma he would be first high-profile English player to play in Serie A since David Beckham’s loan spells at AC Milan in 2009 and 2010.