VILLIFIED footballer Ashley Cole is rumoured to be plotting a desperate escape to Spain.

The controversial defender – recently dumped by popstar wife Cheryl Cole – has received a barrage of criticism following his unfaithful antics.

Cole, 29, was exposed for sending semi-naked photos of himself to topless models as well as smuggling girls into his hotel room during away games.

And now the Chelsea player has now been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona or Real Madrid as he looks to start afresh in pastures new.

Both teams are reported to be on the hunt for a left back with Real Madrid in particular still searching for a suitable replacement for legend Roberto Carlos.

A close friend explained: “He knows he can pick any club in Europe, who’d have him at the drop of a hat.”

“Barcelona have been keeping tabs on him for the last two years. He may be a lousy husband – but he’s still a brilliant footballer.”

It has been mooted that cheating Cole feels aggrieved to have been singled out by both Chelsea and the media despite the misdemeanours of teammate John Terry.

Although Terry was stripped of the England captaincy, Cole allegedly feels that the spotlight has unfairly fallen on his own behaviour.

The England player is thought to be worth an estimated 25 million euros.

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