Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has told Carlo Ancelotti he wants to leave the club this summer in order to be reunited with former mentor Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
According to the News of the World, Cole had a 20-minute talk with Ancelotti at Chelsea's training ground last week.
The 29-year-old is thought to have told the former AC Milan coach that he feels he needs to leave Stamford Bridge and move abroad following a series of stories about his personal life in the media spotlight.
A source close to Chelsea told Sport of the World: "It was a very amicable meeting, but Ashley [Cole] made it clear that because of his personal situation he feels it is in his best interests to leave the club.
"He told [Carlo] Ancelotti that he will be very sad to leave and that it had been a privilege playing for the club during such a successful time in its history."
Spanish giants Madrid have been tracking for the England left-back for some time and are now poised to make a £25 million bid.
Ancelotti is believed to have been sympathetic to Cole's position, but does not want him to leave.
The source added: "Ashley was told that he would have to go and see the chairman, which he hasn't done yet and he has not handed in a formal transfer request.
"He knows Ancelotti wants him to stay, but he feels that moving abroad is the only way he can escape the attention after what happened with Cheryl and the other stories about his private life."
Cole's agent David Manasseh said: "I have no comment to make."