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BREAKING NEWS: Ashley Cole Is Quitting Chelsea At The End Of The Season - European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga) - Nairaland

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BREAKING NEWS: Ashley Cole Is Quitting Chelsea At The End Of The Season by dotcomnamename: 2:54pm On Oct 15, 2012
The Daily Mail reports that the Chelsea star has rejected the offer of a one-year contract extension, and will make this his last season with the Blues.

Real Madrid and Paris St Germain - currently managed by Cole's former bosses Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti - are already lining up negotiations with the 31-year-old, the report claims.

But there's another even more intriguing possibility raised: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is reportedly very keen to bring the England left-back to Old Trafford.

Yet despite the Mail's certainty that Cole is off, Paper Round can't help thinking there's a very good chance that this could be little more than a negotiating tactic. Reports last week confirmed that Chelsea are sticking to a new policy of refusing deals of more than one year to players over 30, and Cole - who is still at the height of his powers - could just be calling his paymasters' bluff.

An equally high-profile defender could also be on the move from Old Trafford as Nemanja Vidic is tipped by the Daily Star to be leaving Manchester United.

Big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are said to be preparing a bid for the United skipper that would offer him £250,000-a-week after tax, a tempting offer for a player who turns 31 at the weekend.

Tottenham look like being busy in January, with the Daily Mirror reporting that the North London clubs are scouting Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie and Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Patrick Herrmann.

The same paper claims that Chelsea are keen on Lazio midfielder Senad Lulic, though they face competition from Bayern Munich.

Aston Villa have denied that Darren Bent will leave in January over his rumoured rift with manager Paul Lambert, according to the Daily Express.

The Daily Mirror runs quotes from Manchester United back-up goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak in which the player manages to insult both his former and new employers by saying that he only moved to Brighton because Alex Ferguson blocked him from going to a rival Premier League side.

Kuszczak claims that United priced him at £5m, despite only having a year left on his contract, and that he was offered the chance to play top-level European football overseas by a string of clubs including CSKA Moscow and Olympiakos - but he plumped for Brighton solely because he wanted to stay in England. Bet Seagulls fans are delighted that their new goalie is so pleased to be with them.

And finally, Premier League boss Richard Scudamore tells this morning's Daily Telegraph that the top flight is considering the introduction of a mid-season winter break - but that the only way to shoehorn it into the calendar would be by scrapping FA Cup replays.

Needless to say the FA would not be happy to give the League even more of a stranglehold over the English game, but Scudamore is unrepentant.

"Unless somebody is prepared to give something it is pretty hard," he explains, before detailing exactly why it won't be the Premier League who back down: "We are not inclined to reduce the number of clubs in the Premier League - if you were running a theatre and had 380 nights that you wanted to sell, why would you throw 60 or 70 of those nights away?"

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