Conte Plays Down Sanchez Interest

Antonio Conte unsure if Chelsea is actively trying to sign Alexis Sanchez

Antonio Conte played down reports that Chelsea are in the race to sign Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, but reiterated that the club’s transfer policy is out of his hands.

Reports on Monday claimed Manchester City, who have ended their interest in Sanchez, believed that Chelsea had made contact with the player’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, with a view to hijacking Manchester United’s proposed bid to sign him in January.

But when asked if Chelsea are making a play to sign Sanchez in a press conference on Tuesday, Conte said: “I don’t know, but I don’t think so.”

Conte has said that he will not be the one who decides which players Chelsea sign in the January transfer window and beyond.

One player the Premier League champions have signed is Ross Barkley, acquired in a £15 million deal from Everton earlier this month.

Conte on Friday suggested that Barkley would feature from the substitutes’ bench in Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea were unable to register the 24-year-old far enough ahead of the first game in the tie to be eligible.

“We are preparing a friendly game for him [behind closed doors] during this week, and then we will see his physical condition,” Conte said of Barkley. “But I’m very happy for his commitment and physical condition. He could be ready for the next game [against Brighton].”


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