Ashley Cole
Cole tipped to leave AS Roma in JanuaryReuters

Manchester United are reportedly looking at making a shock move for AS Roma defender Ashley Cole following suggestions that the former Chelsea fullback could leave the Italian capital in January.

The 33-year-old defender, who joined the Serie A side after being released by the Blues this summer, came under heavy fire following Roma's recent humiliating 7-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Although Roma boss Rudi Garcia substituted Cole at halftime following his poor display against Bayern Munich, the 50-year-old Frenchman later defended the left-back saying that the whole team was responsible for the defeat.

"The defeat against Bayern wasn't just down to one player," Garcia said earlier, according to the Daily Star. "Everyone got things wrong, the coach included. Ashley has also had big games where he's played well, such as the game with Manchester City not long ago."

However, the Evening Standard claims that the Frenchman is already looking to bring a new left-back – either Fiorentina's Manuel Pasqual or Barcelona's Adriano – to replace Cole in January.

Despite Cole himself revealing that he had received some offers from the Major League Soccer sides, he insists that he is still capable of playing at the highest level.

"I had offers from the USA but I'm not ready to relax on a beach yet. I've won a lot in my career already and I don't want to stop," Cole had earlier told the Independent.

It is believed that Cole is looking to return to England, where he found a lot of success with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

And according to the Daily Express, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is interested in bringing Cole to Old Trafford.

Although the Red Devils have already got a left-back in Luke Shaw, whom they recently signed from Southampton, van Gaal is reportedly keen on Cole to provide some competition for the youngster.

The Red Devils, who have been struggling at the back this season, would certainly be boosted by an experienced Premier League defender like Cole, with the team's inexperienced defence being found out plenty of times already this season.