Mourinho Offers Benzema As A Bait For Cole

Chelsea have been offered Real Madrid misfit Karim Benzema as part of Jose Mourinho's plan to lure Ashley Cole to the Bernabeu. Aware that Chelsea are on the look out for another world-class striker after seemingly missing out on Liverpool's Fernando Torres, Real are prepared to offer the  £30million-rated Frenchman plus cash for the England left back.

Cole has told Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti he would be open to a move to reunite with former boss Mourinho due to personal problems. He fits the bill for the Portuguese manager, who is not convinced by his current options, Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa, and missed out on new Manchester City signing Aleksandar Kolarov.

But Mourinho may struggle to prise Cole from Stamford Bridge, with Ancelotti saying earlier this week that the 29-year-old would not be leaving under any circumstances. "Ashley Cole is and will remain a Chelsea player. Everyone can forget the idea he will leave this club. There's no price that will make us sell," he said. While that may be the Italian's stance in public, in private he seems to be genuinely concerned about losing Cole and has asked about signing Porto left back Jorge Fucile as a potential replacement.

Benzema, 22, could prove a shrewd signing for Ancelotti. He commanded a  £36m fee when he joined Real from Lyon last season - he chose the Spaniards ahead of Manchester United - but he struggled at the Bernabeu, scoring just eight times and becoming a peripheral figure under Manuel Pellegrini. His lack of form saw him miss out on France's World Cup squad - although he has been recalled by new coach Laurent Blanc - and he faces a battle for a starting place at Real with Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of him in the pecking order. He may be wary that the situation might not be that much easier at Chelsea, where Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka could also block his path.

While Cole's departure remains a possibility, another Real target, Frank Lampard, looks almost certain to stay.

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