Incoming Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has dropped a big hint he wants to sign Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole.

Cole has been linked with Real in this morning's press.

"I like to play with four at the back," said Mourinho, when asked how he envisioned his Real side lining up. "Though my teams are always ready to play with only three, a system I have used to win many games over the years. But normally we will play with four, but with two offensive full-backs in the style of Maicon and Ashley Cole."

Mourinho's mention of Cole, who he signed for Chelsea from Arsenal in 2006, is likely to set alarm bells ringing at Stamford Bridge, particularly in the context of Inter Milan defender Douglas Maicon, believed to be Mourinho's first request of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in the transfer market.