She's seeing footie's Jacob - but secretly wants his mate!

TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger and Cheryl Cole have lots in common – a love of Louboutins, Hervé Léger dresses and hair extensions.

And if Lauren gets her way, they’ll soon have something else in common.

For we hear unlucky-in-love Lauren, 26, is desperate to land a date with Cheryl’s ex-hubby Ashley Cole, 31, and the pair have been flirting – a lot.

The reality star started her quest by befriending Ashley’s BFF – Barnsley player Jacob Mellis, 21, who became notorious for letting off a smoke bomb in the Chelsea training ground and was cautioned by police after a ‘bloody argument’ with his then girlfriend in April.

But sources say beauty salon owner Lauren is actually only interested in getting up close and personal with love rat Ashley.

‘She loves that Jacob’s friends with Ashley,’ reveals our source.

‘She’s way more interested in Cole.

‘They saw each other at Amika nightclub in London’s Mayfair last week and she was flirting with him like mad.’

Read more about Lauren Goodger and Ashley Cole in Now magazine dated 12 November 2012 – out now!

SEE PICTURES The Only Way Is Essex cast holiday in Marbella

SEE PICTURES The Only Way Is Essex stars Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger celebrate their engagement

SEE PICTURES The Only Way Is Essex – meet the cast