Chelsea call off chase for Gunner Cole

August 9, 2006

Jose Mourinho has told Arsenal that Chelsea will not offer 'one single pound' more for Ashley Cole.

Chelsea released a statement today claiming they had reached a stalemate in their transfer talks with the Gunners.

The clubs are millions of pounds apart in their valuation of the England defender.

Arsenal are thought to be holding out for £25million but Chelsea have tabled a bid in the region of £16million.

Mourinho said: 'I haven't lost patience. Ashley Cole is Arsenal's player and they have the power in their hands to say yes or no.

'We have the power in our hands to say how far our offer goes. The offer went to the limit.

'The club does not move one single pound more and I completely agree with that.

'Our offer is an excellent offer for an excellent player. It's in their hands. They say no and no is no.'

Mourinho admits he will now concentrate on his other options at left-back but admits the Cole deal could still happen.

The Chelsea boss said: 'We have been looking all the time at other players. When you try to sign a player, you can't think this is the only player in the world you can get.

'You have to look at some alternatives. Of course he was an important choice for us but I believe he was also an important choice for them and they probably want to keep him.

'You will have to ask Arsenal if it will happen now. If I sign another left-back. I only want one more left-back. I don't want two. But there is a chance it will happen.'

The latest development in the Cole saga overshadowed Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Celtic in a friendly at Stamford Bridge.

Gary Caldwell gave the Scottish champions the lead in the 10th minute but Shaun Wright-Phillips levelled on the stroke of half-time with his first goal in Chelsea colours.

The Blues issued their statement on the Cole transfer after negotiations reached a deadlock earlier in the day.

It said: 'Chelsea FC has been in discussions with Arsenal Football Club for some time over the possible transfer of Ashley Cole.

'Chelsea has made a very substantial offer for the player.

'Although discussions have continued, Arsenal's valuation of the player does not match Chelsea's and therefore no agreement can be reached in the current circumstances.'