Chelsea lining up Swiss star to replace Ashley Cole long-term

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With Ashley Cole’s current Chelsea contract due to expire next summer, Jose Mourinho has sent his scouts to scour the Bundesliga for a long-term replacement and it appears they may well have settled on Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

When a player already has 18 caps for their country at the tender age of 21, and that country isn’t San Marino, it’s usually fairly safe to assume they are going to be highly-talented.

Falling squarely into that category is Wolfsburg’s Swiss international Rodriguez, who is rumoured to be valued at around £9m by the German Bundesliga outfit and Chelsea are now circling.

Having joined Wolfsburg from FC Zurich in January 2012, Rodriguez has excelled in the German top-flight where he’s started every one of their 12 Bundesliga games so far.

He even scored his first ever Bundesliga goal on his last appearance, in a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, direct from a free kick.

Strong, athletic and technically good on the ball, Rodriguez has also caught the eye for a very promising Swiss team which swept through World Cup qualification.

The Chelsea target helped the winners of Group E go undefeated en-route to Brazil as part of a defence which only conceded six goals in 10 games and there could well be worse outside bets for World Cup glory than Switzerland at 150/1.

While it’s unclear whether 32-year-old Cole will be granted the same sort of extension afforded to Frank Lampard at the end of last season, Mourinho clearly doesn’t believe that his countryman Ryan Bertrand is his natural successor.

The Chelsea boss has now reverted to playing Cesar Azpilicueta out of position in the left-back slot, while Bertrand’s only Premier League start of the season saw him replaced by the Spaniard shortly after the hour mark.

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