Liverpool set to hand Ashley Cole escape route from Chelsea, but MLS links persist

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One of the world’s best-ever left backs is fed up of sitting on the bench at Chelsea, you can’t blame him.

Ashley Cole, 33, has 107 caps for England, has won the UEFA Champions League, three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and pretty much every other trophy on offer. But this season his experience has counted for nothing at Chelsea, as incoming boss Jose Mourinho has decided Cesar Azpilicueta is his first-choice left back.

With his current contract running out at the end of this season, Cole is set to leave Stamford Bridge after eight years in West London. And according to reports from the UK on Friday, Liverpool are set to offer Cole a deal.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers worked at Chelsea as a coach several years ago, and knows Cole well from his time at the Cobham training complex. And if you connect the dots, then Liverpool could certainly do with some more experience at the back. Youngster Jon Flanagan has performed extremely well at left back for most of this season, with Jose Enrique out injured. Cole still has plenty to offer, as whenever Chelsea have called upon him this season, he’s looked the same solid and dependable player that he always has. Plus Liverpool have a habit of picking up experienced players who have once shone at top PL teams, but have fallen out of favor, see: Kolo Toure.

With rumors of the Reds snapping him up rife, most reports suggests Cole is ‘snubbing a move to Major League Soccer’ in favor of staying in the Premier League. But is MLS still an option for Cole? It seems as though the ‘Cole to New York Red Bulls’ rumblings won’t disappear. I’ve heard of RBNY reps traveling to Chelsea to speak with Cole several months ago.

But with the Englishman certain to take up a Designated Player spot, New York would be silly to waste that slot on Cole. That’s no slight on him because, as we said, he’s one of the best left backs in recent history. However, left backs don’t win you MLS Cups, that’s just the way it is. You need to use your DP spot on attacking options, that’s my opinion.

So, now that Liverpool seem to be stepping up their pursuit of Cole on a free transfer, will the rumors of him joining MLS go away? Probably not. But they should.