EXCLUSIVE: Cole's future plunged into doubt as Mourinho ponders Coentrao loan
Jose Mourinho is considering a loan deal for Fabio Coentrao in January, a move that would cast further doubt on Ashley Cole’s future.
Cole has been struggling with a rib injury for two months and that has limited his game, says Mourinho.
The England left back, who has 106 caps, has lost his place in the Chelsea team to right back Cesar Azpilicueta and was warned by Roy Hodgson he was no longer regarded as an automatic starter for his country as he jostles with Leighton Baines.
In doubt: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is considering a move for Fabio Coentrao, casting doubt on Ashley Cole's (right) future
Former favourite: Coentrao played under Mourinho at Real Madrid
SHOW US YOUR MEDALS
While at Chelsea Ashley Cole has won:
Premier League (1): 2009–10
FA Cup (4): 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
Champions League (1): 2011–12
Europa League (1): 2012–13
League Cup (1): 2006–07
Community Shield (1): 2009
Mourinho has been looking at his options and is a big admirer of Coentrao, who has rarely played for Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti and almost joined Manchester United on loan in September.
Chelsea would look for an option to sign Coentrao, 25, permanently after six months if he takes to English football.
His salary is well within the London club’s pay structure and he has the same agent as Mourinho, Jorge Mendes.
Struggles: Mourinho has seen Cole's performance drop in recent months, thanks to injury
Short-term: Mourinho does not see Cesar Azpilicueta (left) or Ryan Bertrand as a long-term options at left back
A loan deal would give Chelsea time to compete for longer-term targets such as Southampton’s Luke Shaw, 18, and Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno, 21. But Chelsea are not alone in liking Shaw, who would command a big fee.
Mourinho has not been convinced by Ryan Bertrand, 24, who has played only once in the league this season. He was overlooked when the manager decided to try the right-footed Azpilicueta on the left.
Cole will be 33 next month and out of contract at the end of the season. A one-year extension will depend on his form and full fitness.
He has started only six games for club and country since injuring his rib at Tottenham in September and was forced off in two of them, for Chelsea at Norwich last month and for England against Germany last week.
Target: Sevilla's Alberto Moreno (right) has been on Chelsea's radar for a while
Wanted man: Southampton teenager Luke Shaw is wanted by a number of clubs after impressive displays
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