After suggesting yesterday that Chelsea would be prepared to spend £60m on Manchester United’s, Ruud van Nisteltooy, Chelsea’s acting chief executive, Paul Smith, has now revealed that they will not be bidding for FIFA Player of the Year, Zinedine Zidane because he is too old.

Chelsea have been linked with countless world-class players since Roman Abromovic’s take-over in the summer, but Zidane, widely regarded the world’s best midfielder, is deemed to be too old for the London club.

“There is no question about the player’s calibre. Zidane is a remarkable talent,” said Smith.

“But he has possibly two or three years left at the top and we would not be interested.

“Players have to represent good value. The club is trying to build a team for the future and must sign players that fit in with that building process as well as having the right character,” he added.

Despite suffering recent defeats to Bolton Wanderers in the league and Aston Villa in the Carling Cup, Smith declared that the Blues could lure any star they wanted to Stamford Bridge.

“In theory, we could afford anyone we want. But it has to work out on a precise calculation,” he said.

“We can afford whoever we want but price does not tell you everything.”