Chelsea have identified 24 year old Portugal international Fabio Coentrao as a long term replacement for long serving left back Ashley Cole. The Real Madrid defender will be available for a fee close to £12 million according to reports in the Daily Star.

Cole is coming to the end of his current contract with Chelsea, and has rejected the club’s offer of a rolling one-year contract extension. His natural replacement in the Chelsea squad is young Ryan Bertrand, but the defender has failed to get enough games under his belt in that position and has been used further up the pitch by Chelsea in a left-wing role, leaving his long term reliability as a left back in doubt.

Coentrao meanwhile is contracted to Real Madrid till 2017, but could be sacrificed as the club look to put together funds to bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale in the summer.

A Real Madrid source is quoted in the aforementioned daily as having said, “If an interesting offer comes in, we will consider it.”

Chelsea have meanwhile also been linked with a move for young Southampton left-back Luke Shaw.

Have an opinion on this story? leave your comment at the bottom