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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 10, 2006

Cole's Chelsea move stalls over £25m price

Jose Mourinho has told Arsenal to lower their asking price if they want to sell Ashley Cole.

Transfer talks between Chelsea and the Gunners ground to halt yesterday with the clubs still millions apart in their valuation of the England full-back.

Chelsea are understood to have offered £16million but Arsenal are holding out for £25million.

The Blues may be bankrolled by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich but they will not increase their offer, according to Mourinho.

The Chelsea boss said: 'I'm not the financial man. That's in the hands of Peter Kenyon and Roman and the board but they told me 100% no chance.

'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 claims he will now turn his attention to possible alternatives but Arsenal know there is a shortage of left-backs in Cole's class.

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.'

Arsenal would like to sign Chelsea's William Gallas but Mourinho revealed the unsettled France defender was not part of the Chelsea offer.

Mourinho said: 'It's a pure-and-simple financial offer. It's a figure Chelsea have offered and Arsenal have said no.'

Gallas angered Mourinho by failing to report for pre-season training on time after the World Cup.

He preferred to extend his holiday in Guadeloupe, did not start training until Monday and has not played in any of the club's pre-season games.

The France international has less than a year remaining on his contract and has said in the past he wants to leave Stamford Bridge for a new challenge.

Mourinho does not want to lose him but admits he will not play any part in the FA Community Shield against Liverpool on Sunday.

Asked if Gallas will feature in Cardiff, Mourinho said: 'No, he won't be involved.

'I make the decisions and it is a decision based on everything. He still has heavy legs from the beach in Guadeloupe.'