THE sale of Ashley Cole to Real Madrid will decide whether Chelsea can afford a new raft of superstars.
The England left-back has been tipped by Real's World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Speaking after becoming the first Spanish captain to lead his country, Casillas said: “I am confident that he can be a Real Madrid player next year.
"I think it will be the right move for him both professionally and personally
“It will be his last big contract and who better to sign for than his old coach Mourinho at Real.”
Chelsea have made it clear the days of big money transfers are over, and that new faces will be only be financed by the exit of old ones.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the stance just this week, saying of Brazil and AC Milan star Kaka: “Unfortunately he cannot come.
"Firstly, Real Madrid don't want to sell him. and secondly it would be a multi-million pounds operation to buy him. Neither of these conditions exist.”