Ashley Cole is once again the subject of gossip mongering, with reports claiming he has failed to agree a contract extension with Chelsea.
Cole, 31, will be out of contract with the Champions League winners at the end of the season, and should he have not inked a new deal before January will be free to talk to other clubs with a view to a Bosman transfer.
Emerging force Paris Saint-Germain, coached by former Chelsea boss Carlos Ancelotti, and José Mourinho's Real Madrid are the two teams that regularly find themselves mentioned in the same sentence with Cole.
His personal strife too could herald a change. An issue which has dogged the England full-back since his infamous autobiography six years ago and his divorce from wife Cheryl, Cole's role in John Terry's race trials brought the worst out of him again.
Publicly labelling the Football Association a "bunch of twa*s", he has already admitted a misconduct charge after his evidence in the report was contradicted. It was also revealed Chelsea club secretary David Barnard asked for the word “black” to be introduced into Cole’s statement.
Cole could succumb to the same fate as Didier Drogba. Despite his impeccable finals record in his eight years with the club as well as his pivotal role in their Champions League final success, the Chelsea board would only offer the Ivory Coast international a one-year contract.
Drogba demanded two years but with no agreement reached was free to move to Shanghai Shenhua on a free transfer in the summer.
Frank Lampard is another Chelsea man out of contract next year and turns 35 in June.
Whereas André Villas-Boas was eager to jettison Chelsea's old guard quickly, the contract issues with individuals would make it a quieter and less controversial affair for the club should they bid them goodbye. Their contribution to the European Cup win makes any departure a fond farewell also.
However it is perhaps testament to the character of Chelsea's 'power players' that they deem one-year deals beneath them when Manchester United's own 30-somethings have caused little or no fuss over the issue.
Gary Neville, Edwin van der Sar, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have all extended their stays at the club by a year during, or at the end of, campaigns the last few seasons.
Moving to PSG or Madrid would offer lucrative pay-days for Cole as well as a fresh footballing challenge for the 98-times capped England left-back.
He won two trophies in the one entire campaign he played under Mourinho while was part of the first ever Chelsea squad to win the double in Ancelotti's debut campaign.
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