Cole has performed well for Chelsea in recent months, despite coming under pressure in his private life. Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport
99 Problems

What have Ashley Cole and Jay-Z got in common? Food taste, apparently

Player also asks critics to judge him on his football, not tabloid stories about his private life.

US RAP STAR Jay-Z and Ashley Cole may seem like an unlikely combo, but the duo are set to enter into the restaurant business together according to reports.

The Chelsea left-back was in New York to meet the rapper, ahead of the opening of their restaurant in London next year.

Cole denied that the move was a publicity stunt aimed at improving his public image.

He said:

“I don’t do things to try and get publicity or anything like that. It was a great way for me to be working with people like Jay-Z and with great entrepreneurs who are going to try and make this restaurant a success.”

The player added that he wanted “to give something back” to the community, as the restaurant aims to provide jobs for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

However, an insider contradicted his claims, telling The Sun: “He knows that his reputation isn’t great and working with charities and disillusioned young people would help.”

Cole also admitted he had “made mistakes” in his private life, but said he should be judged by his activities on the pitch alone.

The news comes following reports that Cole is set to reconcile with his ex-wife Cheryl.

And despite a relatively successful season in which Cole played in all 38 of Chelsea’s Premier League matches, he endured a difficult time away from the pitch, divorcing from his wife and accidentally shooting a work experience student with an air rifle, amid increasing criticism from the press.

Jay-Z has yet to officially comment on the story, despite visiting London recently, where he found time to attend Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, rumours that the Chelsea star will be now be exclusively referred to as “A to the Izzo” have yet to be confirmed.

There’s rain at the All England Club… so here’s Boris Becker talking hip-hop