Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is serious about a move for Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole.

The Manchester Evening News says United are considering a shock bid for Chelsea left-back Cole.

Ferguson has admitted the position is on his transfer radar when he said on tour: "Left-back is an area which we're paying attention to."

The Reds have been linked with a move for Everton's Leighton Baines, but with that move faltering United are now looking at a move for 31-year-old Cole, who has less than a year left on his Stamford Bridge deal.

Although Ferguson's main transfer policy aims at bringing young talent in to develop, he has sprung the odd surprise over the years, with strikers Michael Owen and Henrik Larsson two examples of older players brought in.