Derby County have announced their retained list ahead of the 2019/20 season, but they have made no room for Ashley Cole who has not yet seen his terms renewed.
The former England defender joined the Rams in January to boost their promotion chase, with the 38-year-old linking up with his former team-mate Frank Lampard at Pride Park.
Cole was not a regular starter for Lampard’s side and made 12 appearances in all competitions during the second half of the season, but one of those did come in the play-off final when he stood in for Scott Malone.
With it now appearing that Cole’s brief stint in Derbyshire has come to an end, he could be considering calling time on his glittering career this summer.
He revealed in January that he planned to end his career at Pride Park, and the fact that Derby are seeming reluctant to offer him a new deal could indicate that his time as a professional footballer could be up.
However, the 38-year-old has displayed this season that he is still capable of performing at a high level, so he should perhaps be reconsidering this statement after equipping himself well at Pride Park.
Cole added some valuable experience to the Derby dressing room in their promotion chase this season, and his performances on the field have also been solid for a player firmly in the twilight years of his career.
It is possible that it may be unsustainable for Derby to meet his wage demands over the course of an entire season, so Cole should look into the possibility of joining another Championship club if this is the case.
The left-back would leave Derby with his head held high, having proven that he still has plenty to offer at this level. Derby fans will be hoping for the unlikely event that an agreement can be struck between Derby and the player, as their loss could be another club’s gain.