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Carlo Ancelotti, On Joe Cole's Wages: "The Problem Was Economic"

While Chelsea wanted to retain England international Joe Cole, the club felt the attacker was demanding too much money.

Cole's contract at Stamford Bridge expired after last season, and while Chelsea had intended on bringing the attacker back, a reported £90,000 per week contract from Liverpool was deemed too much to compete with for a player who started in only 14 Premier League matches in 2009-10.

Ancelotti admits he is disappointed to have parted with a player of Cole's calibre, but claims the situation had nothing to do with him and more to do with the fact that the player was demanding too much money.

"No, because the problem was economic," said the Italian. "It was a problem between the club and Joe Cole, not me.

"We spoke about this but when the problem is with money, it is not my problem.

"It is difficult to keep a player all the time in one squad.

"I think Joe Cole, like Michael Ballack and Julian Belletti, did a fantastic job. I want to thank them but now is the time to change."

Cole started last season injured and, upon returning, saw action as a central, attacking midfielder. When Chelsea switched mid-season from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation, Cole lost his place in the team and found himself competing amongst the forwards for playing time. At Stamford Bridge, that meant battling the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou.