By John Cross
Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain have made a sensational move to sign Ashley Cole.
Cole, 31, has one year left on his current contract and has yet to be offered a new deal – which has alerted PSG.
Chelsea insist the England stalwart will be offered a new deal before the end of the August transfer window, but PSG are ready to test their resolve to keep him.
They are prepared to offer vastly-experienced left-back Cole, who has also been linked with a blockbuster move to Manchester United this summer, a three-year contract.
PSG are now managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, who remains a big admirer of Cole and has been looking to sign a new left-back.
Cole has been left disappointed by the lack of a new offer from Chelsea, as he is still happy at Stamford Bridge, six years after joining them from Arsenal.
But the lack of a new offer is a concern, and represents a gamble by Chelsea as they could lose him on a Bosman next summer if both parties cannot agree on terms.
The European champions allowed forwards Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou to leave on frees at the start of this close-season after their deals expired.
PSG are now determined to see whether they can use some Gallic charm – and their Qatari-created spending power – to tempt Cole to France.
Chelsea do have the emerging talent of Team GB Olympic squad member Ryan Bertrand in their ranks, but Cole is still considered world class and has even declared his continuing love for the club on Twitter.
And now PSG, who have the Ancelotti factor to help their cause, are trying to tempt Cole into leaving Stamford Bridge for a final big-money move and a new chapter in his colourful career.