Chelsea could not compete with Manchester United or Manchester City

Antonio Conte claims Chelsea were never interested in Alexis Sanchez because they couldn’t compete with the wages Manchester United and Manchester City were offering. Sanchez completed a momentous swap deal on Monday with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way to Arsenal. It almost seemed a certainty that the Chilean would link up with Pep Guardiola, but City pulled out of the race for his signature to allow their city rivals to swoop in ahead of them.

There was also speculation the 29-year-old could stay in London and complete a sensational move to Stamford Bridge, a rumour Antonio Conte was quick to quash. “We never were in this race. Ever,” the Italian stated. “Especially because one of the reasons was this amount of salary. Only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. “Manchester United and Manchester City stay there and we have to try and build something important to create a basis, and then make success with our work.

“Not with money. With work.” The Blues are in the hunt for a new striker, with a deal for Edin Dzeko reportedly close. Such is Conte’s desperation for a physical striker with Premier League experience, shock moves for Stoke’s Peter Crouch and West Ham’s Andy Carroll were supposedly being considered.

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