Ashley Cole has opened up on his move to Chelsea and the initial incident that saw him get fined for being tapped up by The Blues in 2005.
The former left-back met with Jose Mourinho and Peter Kenyon in 2005 behind Arsenal’s back.
He was fined £100,000 — later reduced to £75,000 on appeal, he stayed on at Arsenal for another season before sealing a move to Chelsea for £5m with William Galas going the other way as well.
He has never really opened up on the issue before now, but he recently spoke to Jamie Redknapp in a very candid interview about everything that went on at that time including the eventual fee.
He admitted that he wanted to leave Arsenal, but he wasn’t thinking about Chelsea or any other English team. His goal was to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid in Spain.
But he met with Mourinho and Kenyon in a hotel, they had both been there to meet another player.
On meeting Chelsea behind Arsenal’s back, Cole Said via Mail Online:
“My contract was running out at Arsenal. I went to speak to an agent who represented Spanish clubs. My intention was not to stay in England — I wanted to sign for Barcelona or Real Madrid. So I went to a meeting. I didn’t hide. I didn’t hire a private room. It was a meeting room in a hotel, and the meeting before was Jose and Kenyon meeting an agent about another player. I walked in. Then someone serving sandwiches came in and, wanting to make money, said there were contracts on the table. It was lies. There was no conversation with Chelsea.”
On how he eventually left Arsenal for Chelsea a year later, he said:
“A year later, I was married, I’d moved into a new house. My agent called and said: ‘Chelsea have come in for you.’ I’d agreed with Arsenal I could go for £5million to anyone. Then Newcastle called me: ‘Hey! Thank you! It’ll be great to have you with us!’ I was like: ‘What? Where have you heard that?’ They said they’d agreed a deal with Arsenal. OK, £5m, fair enough, we had an agreement. Then when Chelsea came in, it was: ‘No, £30m.’”