Tuesday, 28th June, 2011

Reports from Spain suggest Real Madrid are drawing up contingency plans in the event that Fabio Coentrao does not land from Benfica this summer – and Chelsea’s Ashley Cole tops the list as an alternative.

Los Blancos coach Jose Mourinho has been fulsome in his praise for Coentrao, seeing the 23-year-old as a valuable addition as he seeks to build a side capable of overhauling Barcelona to win La Liga.

But despite talks with Benfica and a suggestion out-of-favour winger Royston Drenthe could form part of an attractive package, progress towards the Portuguese full back’s arrival has been slow. And this has caused Real Madrid’s management to seriously consider other options in the event a deal does not materialise.

This has, according to Spanish daily AS, allowed Cole to shoot up Real Madrid’s wanted list.

Mourinho knows all about the England international from his stint at Stamford Bridge and enjoys a good relationship with new Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas; all the better to smooth a transfer to Spain.

Cole has been linked with Real Madrid in the past, although no firm offer has been lodged by Los Blancos and talk of a move has been dismissed as speculation.

However, while Coentrao remains Mourinho’s first choice, Cole is being given serious consideration by the Portuguese and the Real Madrid hierarchy.

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