Ashley Cole

Italian giants AC Milan are reportedly looking at a January swoop for Chelsea defender Ashley Cole.

The 31-year-old, whose contract expires next summer, is understood to have refused to commit his future to the Blues, owing to Abramovich's policy of not offering long-term deals to players over the age of 30.

Milan have been attempting to improve their faltering defence and are now considering a move for Cole when the transfer window opens, reports

Cole is unlikely to stay at Chelsea without a long-term contract and could join the likes of Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who left the club as free agents in the summer. Hence, if the England international does not reach an understanding with the club before the end of the year, an offer from Milan could be welcomed by European Champions as it will provide them funds to replace the former Arsenal man, with FFP looming.

The left-back has previously attracted interest from PSG, with manager Carlo Ancelotti trying to lure the player to Paris. Ancelotti is familiar with Cole from his time at Chelsea and recently fuelled speculation over the transfer by acknowledging his admiration for the defender.

"A lot of players are linked with Paris St-Germain in the market. For this season, we have a very good squad but next year, I don't know what is going on. Ashley Cole is the best left-back in the world at the moment," the Guardian quoted the Italian.

Clifford Gets Republic of Ireland Call-up

Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford has been drafted into the injury-hit Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Germany and the Faroe Islands.

The 21-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for the Blues but has been part of the Republic's U21 side. Clifford joins Ciaran Clark, David Meyler and Robbie Brady, who were all added to the squad recently.

Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni has lost the likes of Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, James McClean and Kevin Doyle to injuries, after naming his initial squad, while Richarde Dunne is still struggling for ftiness.