Man Utd leave Chelsea’s Cole to Arsenal, Spurs

Manchester United are leaving Joe Cole to Tottenham and Arsenal, it has been revealed.

The Guardian says Cole, released by Chelsea after failing to agree terms over a new contract, has repeatedly been linked with a free signing to United, but well-placed sources at Old Trafford have indicated there has never been any interest in the midfielder.

Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, has spoken on numerous occasions about his admiration for Cole, but the 28-year-old has had a season disrupted by injury and his wage demands would be prohibitive for United.

The feeling at Old Trafford is that a lot of the speculation surrounding United's reported interest has been generated by people close to Cole in the hope of accelerating interest from other clubs.

Cole's future now looks like a straight choice between Arsenal and Tottenham, the north London rivals having both initiated talks with the player's representatives.