Jose Mourinho believes no club in the Premier League are big enough to attract the likes of Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller, Chelsea included.
The Premier League is widely touted as the most competitive in the world and is undoubtedly the richest. However, many of the world's biggest stars continue to elude English football.
Similarly, when genuine world-class stars do emerge on British shores, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez, they invariably leave for bigger clubs abroad.
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Mourinho, who committed himself to Chelsea by signing a four-year deal yesterday, believes Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona are on a different level to any club in the Premier League.
As they are at the pinnacle of football, it means each of the three teams can pick and choose who to sell and when to sell them. It also makes it impossible for Chelsea to attract someone like Muller.
"Is anyone in England interested in Thomas Muller? For sure. Can we, England, bring Thomas Muller from Bayern? I don't think so"
They sell when they want
"I think there are only three clubs in the world who have the power to say, 'I don't sell,'" ESPN reports Mourinho as saying. "This is Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
"Is anyone in England interested in Thomas Muller? For sure. Can we, England, bring Thomas Muller from Bayern? I don't think so.
"Does anyone want [Lionel] Messi? Can you bring him? I don't think so. They are big clubs with big history, economically strong and stable, income amazing. I think they sell when they want to sell.
"When you see a player leave one of these big clubs you have to think it's because they want him to go. That's my feeling.
"[I'm] speaking about the ones who make the world stop. Big transfers. When does Messi leave Barcelona? When he finishes his career."
The way around it
Chelsea have used their financial power to bring some of Europe's best young stars to Stamford Bridge before the big three get their claws in. Famously, they paid £32million to sign Eden Hazard from Lille in 2012.
They also took advantage of Barcelona's surplus of world-class stars last summer, agreeing to pay £27m to sign Cesc Fabregas. Mourinho says these are the only ways Premier League clubs can sign the best players.
He said: "The way is to bring players like [Sergio] Aguero when Man City bought him or [Eden] Hazard when Chelsea bought him.
"Try to be lucky and have an Alexis [Sanchez] that is not playing regularly in Barcelona.
"[Cesc] Fabregas is similar to Alexis, not playing regularly. Arrive at a moment where these top players really want to leave and they force it a little bit."
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