Ashely Cole joining the New York Red Bulls is one of those rumors that just won’t die down.
On Friday Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho waded into the debate on Cole’s future, as the England international left back has spent the majority of the 2013-14 campaign on the sidelines behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the Chelsea team.
Many believe Cole will be on the move this summer, and Mourinho admitted the 33-year-old does have a future at Stamford Bridge beyond this season. However, the ‘Special One’ also stated that Cole may want to move on and discussed New York’s apparent interest in the veteran defender.
Asked about Thierry Henry (Cole’s former Arsenal teammate) apparently sounding out Cole for a switch Stateside to MLS, Mourinho got a little touchy and said the following, as reported by a good pal of mine, the Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.
“You have to ask Thierry Henry,” Mourinho said. “You are speaking about Thierry Henry, so speak with Thierry Henry. Maybe Thierry is doing with Red Bulls the same as David Beckham is doing in Miami. Maybe he’s buying Red Bulls. Yes, Cole has (got a future at Chelsea), but maybe Thierry has a better proposal.”
Mourinho was winding the media up a little with the comment about Henry owning the Red Bulls, but his irritation levels were apparently quite high after also being asked why he always persists with mind games. To which he replied, “With me, it’s always mind-games. Everything I say and do is mind-games. No? The only thing that is not mind-games is the result. That’s not mind-games.”
So with Jose in a spiky mood and further rumors of Cole’s departure away from Chelsea this summer agitating him, could there be truth behind this never-ending story?
It would be quite surprising to see Cole stick around in West London past this summer, as he will be offered a new one-year deal by the Blues but I doubt he will accept it as he’ll likely sit on the bench behind Azpilicueta for the whole of next season too. I’ve also got wind of Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh being at Chelsea’s Cobham Training ground to speak with Cole earlier on this season, as New York try to add another DP to the mix at Red Bull Arena. But I don’t think Cole would actually be a DP in New York, most likely his wages would be significantly less than if he stayed at Chelsea, so that’s a big indicator that he may remain in London.
Many believe this move would be bad for RBNY, and see little worth in paying an aging left back top dollar in MLS.
But with these rumors persisting for so long, it looks like everything will shake out at the end of this PL season. Then we will see if Cole is willing to pop across the pond for the final few years of his career, or spend his twilight warming his butt cheeks on the bench at Chelsea.