Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he has tried in vain to persuade Luka Modric to join him at Stamford Bridge after the pair worked together for a year at Real Madrid.
The 28-year-old has impressed since a difficult first season in Spain but could see his place in the starting line-up taken by new signings James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos.
The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder left the Premier League in 2012 for a package believed to be worth over £30m and is happy to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabau.
Reports have suggested that the pair could be reunited in London this summer but, while admitting he would like to make it happen, the Blues boss has refuted those claims.
"I called Modric only privately but he doesn't want to join Chelsea,” Mourinho told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti.
"You know I really appreciate Luka Modric and his qualities. But he stays in Real Madrid.”
The Croat made 51 appearances for the La Liga giants last season, scoring two goals, on his way to lifting both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
His former manager's campaign was decidedly different, however, with Chelsea enduring a trophy-less season.
Mourinho has acted fast in an effort to rectify the situation at Stamford Bridge by signing £32m Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas for £29m while Atletico Madrid's Felipe Luis signed for £11m before Didier Drogba returned to the club on a free-transfer.
The former Inter Milan manager is also facing a selection headache in the coming weeks with his squad having one too many foreign players to pass Premier League and Champions League 'home-grown' quotas.
“From the group you are expecting us to have as a squad, I have to send one away because we have one extra foreign player,” Mourinho told the Daily Telegraph.
“So from all these players, if you think all of them have to stay, you are wrong. One of them has to go.”