Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out making a big-money summer swoop for Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.
The former Blues boss confirmed that he had been keen to bring the England international to Spain but was put off by the Stamford Bridge club’s reluctance to do business.
Mourinho brought Cole to West London in a controversial move from Arsenal in the summer of 2006 where he continued his progress into one of the best left-backs in the world.
The 29-year-old was reported to be considering a move away from England after the breakdown of his marriage to singer Cheryl Tweedy, but a move to Santiago Bernabeu now appears to be out of the question.
Mourinho told the Sunday Times: "Carlo Ancelotti was very, very clear and that’s the best way in football.
"He killed the story by saying, ‘No money can buy Ashley Cole, Ashley Cole needs to stay’.
"I think Ashley thought about leaving for personal and professional reasons. We thought about him because he’s a good player who I enjoyed working with.
"But when a coach says no, it’s no, and we have to accept that."
Mourinho was also linked with Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard after leaving Inter Milan for the Primera Liga giants.
And while the Portuguese confirmed he tried to land Lampard while he was at the helm of the Serie A side, he feels both players are now entering the latter stages of their career and would be too costly to land with little future sale value.
He added: "Steven is part of Liverpool history, he belongs to Liverpool Football Club. And he is so important for them that the price is not a price for a 30-year-old player.
"It was the same when I tried to take Frank Lampard to Inter. It’s not a problem for Inter to pay the millions Frank had in Chelsea or for Real to pay the millions Steven has in Liverpool.
"The problem is for the club to buy a player of 30 years who you cannot then sell."