Chelsea’s Ashley Cole is among a clutch of the top stars in the Barclays Premier League being targeted by the United States' Major Soccer League ahead of their 2015 expansion plans.

Sportsmail has learned that MLS chiefs have instructed agents across Europe to find players interested in moving to America.

Although David Beckham’s new franchise will increase the league’s global commercial appeal, England's top league has been specifically identified by the MLS in their search for talent.

Television viewing figures of MLS matches have failed to reach the levels hoped since its inception in 1993 and the league has begun a high-profile recruitment drive aimed at improving the brand.

Despite the likes of Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Clint Dempsey and Robbie Keane all plying their trade in America, one of the biggest turn-offs for viewers is understood to the the standard of football in the MLS.

And league chiefs hope the capture of big-name stars will re-invigorate the competition ahead of 2015.

However, agents have been instructed to secure players who are not viewed to be 'over the hill' but rather players who are in their prime to ensure the standard of football increases.

New York Red Bulls has already been earmarked as a possible destination for Cole, whose Chelsea contract is due to expire in the summer.