Atletico Madrid have claimed that they rejected big-money bids for Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan from Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively, last summer.
Atletico chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin has revealed the club chose to keep their star names, but the move has backfired as they have suffered a poor start to the Liga season and are now unable to strengthen their squad depth.
"There were two bids in the summer," Gil Marin told Marca. "Chelsea wanted Aguero and Real Madrid wanted Diego Forlan. Chelsea offered €45 million plus €5 million in bonuses for Aguero and Real Madrid offered €36 million for Forlan.
"Madrid's president [Florentino Perez] told us he would not meet Forlan's buy-out clause because he did not want a public confrontation between the club. They hoped we would accept their first offer and in a deal that would have included us having the pick of a number of players, one of whom was Alvaro Negredo."
Gil Marin was asked if Atletico do not sell in the winter transfer window, then would they be forced to listen to offers in the summer if they were not in the Champions League again.
"It will not be a must, but it is obvious that there are cycles with teams and with players," he replied. "If any player wants to look for a new challenge then Atletico would evaluate it.
"The problem in the summer was that we chose not to sell five players; Aguero, Forlan, Simao, Paulo Assuncao and Tomas Ujfalusi. We then told the sporting director that he could buy players that we needed with money raised from the sale of other players, but the market was at a standstill and we could not sell."