Ricardo Rodriguez
Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez (left) is a target for Chelsea and AC Milan Reuters

Chelsea will have to compete against AC Milan if they want to sign left-back Ricardo Rodriguez from Wolfsburg in January, according to the Mirror.

Jose Mourinho wants to sign the Swiss international as a direct replacement for veteran Ashley Cole. The England international has just over six months left in his current contract and has had to settle for a place on the bench. The Portuguese tactician has preferred to deploy right-back Cesar Azpilicueta on the left.

Since joining Wolfsburg from Swiss side FC Zurich in January 2012, Rodriguez has gone from strength to strength establishing himself as the club's regular left-back. His contract with the German club runs out in June 2016.

Regardless of the club Rodriguez signs for in January, he will be eligible to play for them in the UEFA Champions League this season as Wolfsburg are not playing in the competition.

In November, the club's sporting director Klaus Allofs told Germany's sports magazine Kicker, "It would be nice if we could get into the situation where there is interest from other clubs."

Wolfsburg lie fifth in the Bundesliga after 16 matches and are in contention for a place in the European competitions next season.

However, all potential suitors have been handed a setback as Rodriguez's agent Gianluca Di Domenico has stated that any move for his client will only be possible in the summer after the World Cup in 2014.

"In January, he will not move from Wolfsburg because the club does not want to sell as they absolutely want to get into the Champions League," Domenico told Calciomercato.

"Maybe after the World Cup in June but it will not be easy for Milan as many clubs are interested in him," he added.

The pursuit of a left-back by Mourinho also puts a question mark on the future of Ryan Bertrand at Chelsea. The 24-year-old has not featured in more than a handful of games this season and has missed training for over two weeks training due to a niggling knee injury.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has kept his options open in securing a perfect left-back replacement. Southampton's Luke Shaw is also a target for the Chelsea manager as he hinted in September that he might bid for the 18-year-old in January.