Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce has revealed he was forced to sell Andrew Cole to Portsmouth after the veteran striker threatened to retire if he was not allowed to move.
Pearce did not want the 34-year-old to leave Eastlands, but eventually felt he had no choice but to back down and accept Pompey's £500,000 offer.
He told the club's official website: "There were suggestions that the player might retire if I didn't let him go. After that was suggested to me what choice did I have?
"In terms of negotiations it was mentioned that this deal (from Portsmouth) was too good to turn down and it might be a case of the player retiring if we did not agree to the transfer.
"That came from the agent. It was a bit disappointing and as soon as you hear that then you just move on and say 'right okay'. We decided, myself, the chairman and the chief executive, to take the money on the player and move on."
Pearce added: "He wanted to go and play somewhere else, I tried my best to offer the player another contract that wouldn't just leave the club wide open to be paying a player.
"We had to bear in mind that the player has not played for seven months.
"I offered the contract to Andy last December and was good to my word. That contract didn't get signed until this summer for whatever reason.
"That's the way it goes. We got a fee for the player, the player's moved on, wish him well and we've got to move on from that."