Barcelona are chasing Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole for the January market. The Mirror says coach Pep Guardiola's priority is a left-back and Chelsea's Cole fits the bill - if Barca can get him for around £12million.

Cole, 30, is ­Guardiola's first choice, but now he must convince Barca president Sandro Rosell to make a move.

The European champions are long-term admirers of Tottenham's Welsh winger Gareth Bale - but his sky-high price tag has left them believing Cole is a better option.

England star Cole was a target for Real Madrid last summer and was interested then in moving to Spain. But Chelsea held firm and refused to sell him.

Now Barcelona are ready to test their resolve again in the summer.