The Los Angeles Timesreported on Monday that the LA Galaxy are "close" to announcing the signing of former England international defender Ashley Cole. Head coach Bruce Arena told the media on Monday that reports of the club's negotiations with the player, who is out of contract and was most recently with Italian giants Roma, are "fairly accurate."
Cole, 35, has not played a competitive match since March, when he made his 11th and final league appearance for Roma, although he did play in several summer friendlies. His contract with Roma was terminated in August, despite having one year left on the deal.
A veteran of three World Cup campaigns, Cole would be an interesting pickup for the Galaxy, perhaps answering some of the defensive questions brought on by the transfer of center back Omar Gonzalez. A lifelong left back, who starred for more than a decade with Arsenal and Chelsea in the English Premier League, Cole would presumably line up at his preferred position. This would force the versatile Robbie Rogers to shift to right back, which in turn would move A.J. DeLaGarza into a more permanent role at center back, where he has lined up on occasion over the past few years.
If Cole were to sign with the Galaxy, he would link up with his longtime England teammate Steven Gerrard, who joined the club in midseason last year. Cole and Gerrard were both with England at the World Cups in 2006 and 2010 and at the Euro Championships in 2004 and 2012.