LA Galaxy full-back Ashley Cole has expressed his desire to become a part of Chelsea's backroom team once he calls time on his playing career but is hoping to delay retirement for as long as possible.
Cole, 36, enjoyed a wildly successful spell in west London after controversially moving from Arsenal to Chelsea in the summer of 2006, and has gone on to play for Roma and LA Galaxy since leaving the Blues in 2014.
The former England international - capped 107 times by his country - is unsurprisingly enjoying life in Los Angeles but a return to Chelsea is his "first choice" after his adventure across the pond comes to an end, and he is prepared to be flexible regarding his potential role in the club's set-up.
"I'm enjoying it here at the moment, but I would like to go back to England and work for Chelsea in some capacity if I could, so that would be my first choice," Cole told FourFourTwo. "Coaching or being a scout is something I've always considered and enjoyed while watching games.
"I try to nurture young players coming through, so it's something I have in the back of my mind for after I finish playing. I want to play for as long as I possibly can, because once you finish playing, you are done for life."
Chelsea are not currently prioritising a return for Cole but they are keen on bringing in defenders to supplement the playing staff. A £33m move for Roma defender Antonio Rudiger is believed to be nearing completion, while a move for Juventus full-back Alex Sandro is also in the pipeline.
Sandro, 26, is believed to be one of Antonio Conte's top transfer targets this summer and the Premier League champions are confident of completing a deal that could be worth £60m. A deal for Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is also seemingly imminent, but Conte's pursuit of Everton forward Romelu Lukaku has so far proven unsuccessful.
The former Chelsea prodigy is keen to return to Stamford Bridge this summer and recently said that remaining at Goodison Park is "not an option", despite having two years left on his current contract on Merseyside, but Everton are holding firm over their £100m valuation of the Belgium international, who is also attracting interest from Manchester United.