Is agent playing hardball in Crystal Palace swoop for former Chelsea and Arsenal star?

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Ashley Cole has emerged as a top target for Crystal Palace with Eagles manager Neil Warnock desperate to recruit a new left back.

Cole made 14 loan appearances for the Selhurst Park club during a 2000 loan spell from Arsenal and has previously been quoted as saying he would like to end his career in south-east London.

According to the Daily Mail, Palace tried and failed to land Cole in the summer, seeing the England centurion opt for Serie A and a move to Roma.

However, the 33-year-old has struggled to hold down a starting berth at the Stadio Olimpico and has been left out of the line-up for the side’s last five games.

This is clearly not what Cole has in mind when agreeing to spend the twilight of his career in Italy and while a 50% cut in his £80,000 per week wages would need to made to facilitate a move to Selhurst Park Warnock hopes the lure of regular playing time and a hometown swansong will bring the defender back to London.

Cole’s agent has rubbished the claims, saying his client is “happier than ever” Italy but we’ve heard similar lines trotted out by others in the past so they are taken with a pinch of salt.

The news comes shortly after Warnock announced that a striker is at the top of his agenda and with Dwight Gayle the prospect of interest from both Burnley and Leicester, Palace could soon have the required funds to go after Swansea ace Bafetimbi Gomis.

The Eagles are currently priced as a 6/4 shot to be relegated to the Championship and with Manchester City, Southampton and fellow strugglers QPR coming up before the turn of the year things could look a lot worse before the transfer window reopens.

If Palace are to avoid the drop the defence, which has leaked 24 goals already this season, needs to be recruited and Cole’s experience could prove invaluable.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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