Former Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster has hit out at his old employers for their pursuit of Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.
Schuster, who left the club by mutual consent in December just months after winning the league title in his first season, believes Real did not need to sign Ronaldo but the chase of his signature became "a theme for the club".
Real were eventually reported to UEFA and FIFA over their relentless courtship of the Portugal winger, but Schuster insists he was never very interested and was upset that other options were not pursued.
"Look, we asked for three or four players if Cristiano didn't come," he told Spanish newspaper Marca.
"I understood the club would have to pay an extortionate fee to bring that kid, and they made it clear to me that if he came it would be very difficult to get anyone else. Maybe one more, but at a very low price.
"But of course, if he didn't come we could bring someone else in, someone who we really needed.
"The thing is we didn't need Cristiano, that was more a theme the club had going. We knew that with him alone we wouldn't solve other problems because he can't defend nor play on the wing.
"The big surprise was that in the end nobody came."
"They said they had no money. (There was money for Ronaldo) but not for the others," Schuster added.
"I don't know why Villa never came, but I have an idea.
"What I thought was really odd was that we had a meeting in April to talk signings, as is normal, to decide things in good time. But then with all that time nothing was done about anything we spoke about."