Jose Mourinho has ruled out a move for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and Chelsea defenders Ashley Cole and Ricardo Carvalho. The Real Madrid manager was linked with a move for Gerrard after taking over at Real earlier this summer but believes it would have been difficult to prise Gerrard away from Liverpool. "He is part of the history of Liverpool, he belongs to the club - he is too important to them," he told reporters in Los Angeles.
"The same thing happened when I tried to take Frank Lampard to Inter Milan. The problem exists when a club buys a player that is 30 and that cannot be sold later on." Mourinho sees a similar problem with Carvalho. "Ricardo is also a good player, but he is at an age that, if somebody is looking to build a team for the future, he cannot think of him," he said. "Ricardo belongs to the current moment. He is a man with a great professional and private life, so he has no problem when it comes to playing at a high level at the age of 32."
Mourinho admitted he did want to sign Cole, but says the Chelsea manager vetoed that move. "Carlo Ancelotti was very clear. [He said] there is no money that will sign Ashley Cole, he needs to stay," he said. "We thought of him because he was a good player who I enjoyed working with, but when the coach says no, it's no - you have to accept it." Meanwhile, Sunderland went down to a 3-1 defeat to German side Hoffenheim in their final pre-season friendly at the Rhein-Neckar Arena yesterday. Jordan Henderson was on target for the Black Cats. * PA