Cole on verge of Chelsea exit

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole could be heading for the Stamford Bridge exit door after a clash with Andre Villas-Boas, The Sun reports.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich is reported to be unhappy with senior stars criticising the manager and could give the go-ahead for a dressing room clearout. Villas-Boas left out Cole and Lampard for the 3-1 loss to Napoli on Tuesday, a decision which the two players were furious about. Cole allegedly told Villas-Boas that the club would not win trophies under him and the 31 year old’s future is now bleak.

A club source said: ‘When the players question the manager, they are questioning the owner’s judgement. Andre Villas-Boas was Mr Abramovich’s personal choice. In the past, the senior players have sometimes got their way over an unpopular manager. But this time, Mr Abramovich is fed up with their moaning’.

Barcelona are interested in the England international, who is contracted until 2013 with the club. Chelsea are outside of the top four in the league and will face a difficult challenge to get past Napoli in the Champions League second leg, and Cole could be tempted to move elsewhere.

Andre Villas-Boas has been interested in Porto left back Alvaro Pereira and could see the Uruguayan international as a potential replacement, should Cole decide to leave Stamford Bridge.

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