Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he wanted to keep Joe Cole but the England international's wage demands were just too high to justify.
The former West Ham United star is still without a club after his Stamford Bridge contract came to an end and no agreement could be made on a new deal.
The 28-year-old left the Blues after spending the last seven years with the club and Ancelotti admitted: "The problem was economic.
"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."
Of his ambitions for the new season, Ancelotti added: "Our aim is to do better than last year in the Champions League. We went out too early last season. It is not easy to be competitive in every competition.
"If it's possible then we want to repeat what we did last year in the other competitions."
Chelsea lost to Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League but won the Premier League title and the FA Cup.