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United could consider Cole

Manchester United should not be ruled out as a potential destination for Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, according to ESPN sources.

• Cole wants long-term deal

Cole, 31, will be available on a free transfer at the end of the 2012-13 season as he has yet to agree an extension to his current contract at Chelsea.

A number of sides are thought to be monitoring the England international's future, with affluent French club Paris Saint Germain, where ex-Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti is now in charge, said to be keen.

ESPN understands, though, that Cole is hopeful of prolonging his stay at Stamford Bridge, if the club offer him a deal of longer than one year.

But Cole's situation is one that could interest United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, whose first-choice left-back Patrice Evra came in for criticism for his display in their 2-1 Champions League win over CFR Cluj.

An ESPN insider said: "Manchester United cannot be discounted from the equation, there are plenty of interested clubs, and Manchester United might well be one of them."

United were linked with a bid for Cole's international squad mate Leighton Baines in the summer, but ultimately brought in Alexander Buttner from Vitesse.

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