LA Galaxy's Ashley Cole keen to work for Chelsea after retirement
LA Galaxy defender Ashley Cole has told FourFourTwo that returning to Chelsea to work as a coach or scout would be his "first choice" when he retires as a player.
Cole, 36, was released by Chelsea at the end of his contract in 2014, having made 229 appearances and won eight major trophies in eight seasons at Stamford Bridge, and endured a frustrating spell at Roma before joining Galaxy in January 2016.
And while he insists he is in no hurry to hang up his boots, Cole admits that he has thought about his post-playing options and concluded that returning to the Blues in a staff role would be an ideal fit for him.
"I'm enjoying it here [in the United States] 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, who scored in Galaxy's 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake on Tuesday, said.
"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.
"But I want to play for as long as I possibly can, because once you finish playing, you are done for life."
Cole is not the only Chelsea legend with hopes to return to Stamford Bridge. Earlier this week, John Terry revealed his ambition to manage the club in the future, while Frank Lampard has also spoken of his desire to build a managerial career that enables him to one day be in Antonio Conte's position.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has made a concerted effort to employ distinguished former players in staff roles at Cobham. Carlo Cudicini is one of Conte's assistants, while Paulo Ferreira and Eddie Newton help manage the club's loan players.
In the academy structure, former midfielder Jody Morris led Chelsea's U18 side to a treble of trophies last season. He has kept his position in a recent reshuffle, with Andy Myers assisting Joe Edwards at U21 level and Tore Andre Flo and Jon Harley detailed to help coach the U15s and U16s.
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.