Real Madrid sports chief Predrag Mijatovic has thrown doubt on their pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack.

Bernd Schuster, the Real coach, wants Ballack to join him in Madrid in January, but Mijatovic says: "We had interest in him, although he continues to be injured. Over the summer we did not reach a financial agreement because of what his agent was demanding for his fee.

"I must admit, the way Chelsea allowed us a free run at him scared me a little."