LA Galaxy likely to play hardball over Ashley Cole amid Birmingham City interest

Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy are unlikely to permit the sale of defender Ashley Cole to Birmingham City this summer as he is considered as a key part of their first-team plans.

The former Chelsea and Arsenal defender has emerged as a summer target for the Blues with manager Harry Redknapp plotting looking to add more experience to his squad ahead of a promotion push.

Birmingham only survived relegation on the final day of the previous campaign, and Redknapp had a key role to play in the final weeks as he guided them to two victories in the last three games. The 70-year-old has since been on the lookout for experienced faces to add to his squad, and he missed out on the services of John Terry earlier this month after he decided to join cross-city rivals Aston Villa on a free transfer.

Cole ended his association with English football back in the summer of 2014, but Redknapp feels the player still has the potential to succeed in the Championship as he approaches the final years of his professional career. The 36-year-old is currently on a wage package of just £4,350 a week after tax, and he would stand the chance of a substantial rise, should he make the return to England.

However, neither the player nor the coach are interested in parting ways with manager Curt Onalfo citing that Cole is a ‘really important’ player in their squad, he said: “He’s a really important part of our team, Ashley brings a level of experience. He’s certainly in my plans and I want to have him stay here.”Cole’s current deal is due to expire at the end of the year, but he is determined to prolong his stay in Los Angeles where he is settled with his partner and son over the past 18 months.