London, May 27(ANI): Chelsea is facing a desperate battle to hang on to defender Ashley Cole, as he faces the bleak prospect of becoming a public enemy next season following his bitter split from Cheryl Cole.
Cheryl has filed for divorce in London, and Ashley is now certain to suffer a backlash with his life on and off the pitch continuously under a microscope.
"Everyone at Chelsea can see Ashley loves the club, his team-mates and the fans. There's no doubt about that, but who could blame him for not wanting to live in England any more, especially after his divorce from Cheryl?," The Sun quoted a Chelsea insider, as saying.
"We can all imagine what kind of abuse he'll face from away fans next season. Who'd want to put up with that?," the source added.
Meanwhile, the situation has alerted new Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, whose interest in Cole is well known.
It is believed that Real Madrid is preparing a 25 million pound bid for Cole.
"The feeling is Ashley will have a terrible time if he stays in England next season," a Real Madrid source said.
"Clubs like Real are hoping Chelsea will sympathise with Cole's plight and let him escape all the abuse and find a new life - hopefully with us," the source added. (ANI)