Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Joe Cole's departure from Chelsea was down to economic differences.
The England international saw his contract at Stamford Bridge come to an end this summer and he has subsequently left the club as a free agent.
Cole's future was a subject of much discussion as the 2009/10 campaign drew to a close, with the majority of Blues supporters keen for him to pen a new deal.
However, an agreement could not be reached and the 28-year-old opted to move on after seven years in West London.
Ancelotti admits he is disappointed to have parted with a player of Cole's calibre, but claims the situation had nothing to do with him and more to do with the fact that the player was demanding too much money.
"No, because the problem was economic," said the Italian. "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."
Ancelotti, who guided Chelsea to a league and cup double last season, is hoping his side can push on in 2010/11 despite seeing considerable experience head through the exits.
He has also revealed that the UEFA Champions League will be a top priority for the Blues next season, after they fell at the last 16 stage to eventual champions Inter Milan last term.
"Our aim is to do better than last year in the Champions League," added Ancelotti.
"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."