Chelsea keeping tabs on Tottenham ace

Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Tottenham HotspurChelsea are considering a January swoop for Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto, according to reports the Daily Mail.

The Blues are thought to be searching for a replacement for current left-back Ashley Cole, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Rafael Benitez is said to be an admirer of the Cameroonian, and could launch a £5m bid next month.

The 28-year-old was one of Spurs’ star performers last term, helping the Londoners finish in the top four, only to miss out on Champions League qualification thanks to Chelsea’s winning of the competition.

He has not featured as regularly this term, with a knee injury preventing coach Andre Villas-Boas from fielding him.

The likes of Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton have filled in at left-back during his absence, and both have looked competent in the position.

Vertonghen in particular has impressed, which may persuade AVB to cash in on Assou-Ekotto to fund further purchases in the January market.

Chelsea have also been linked with Southampton’s 17-year-old sensation Luke Shaw, but Benitez is believed to be searching for a more experienced full-back.

Assou-Ekotto arrived at White Hart Lane in 2006, signing from French outfit Lens for £3.5m.

Initially he struggled to force his way into the starting XI, but was a regular under former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

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