Arsenal Fury over Cole 'Tap'

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Byline: MICHAEL HART

ARSENAL expect the Premier League to launch a full-scale investigation into allegations that Chelsea have made an illegal approach to Ashley Cole.

David Dein, the Arsenal vice chairman and an FA board member, was today gathering evidence following the latest front page revelat ions about Cole's meeting with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon.

If found guilty of breaching Rule K3 - which forbids clubs approaching players contracted to another club - the Premiership leaders could have points deducted.

The Arsenal hierarchy reacted angrily to these latest disclosures but were seeking legal advice before making the depth of their fury public.

It will be difficult for the Premier League to ignore this developing controversy especially as Chelsea officials denied to Dein on Sunday that any meeting with Cole had taken place.

All Dein would say today was: "We are looking at the quality of the evidence before we make any decisions.

"Ashley Cole is committed to this club until 2007 and we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract."

An official complaint from Arsenal, at this stage, could have far reaching effects on the Premiership title race, but the Premier League have said they have to await a formal protest from Highbury.

The sensational row between Chelsea and Arsenal over Cole was reignited today by new evidence emerged which appeared to confirm Mourinho did tap up the England defender.

A new witness has come forward to reveal how they saw Cole, Mourinho and Kenyon discussing a move last week.

According to the Sun newspaper, the witness is an employee at the Royal Park hotel, where the meeting is said to have taken place last Thursday.

The employee has signed an affidavit for the newspaper to back up their allegations. …

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