Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has dismissed rumours suggesting he was planning a late swoop for Alexis Sanchez.
Manchester United have entered pole position to sign the Arsenal forward after offering a fee of around £35m plus the services of Henrikh Mkhitarryan.
Such a package has led to Manchester City pulling out of the race, although it was revealed at the same time that Chelsea were planning a late swoop for Sanchez.
But Conte, speaking ahead of his side’s FA Cup replay with Norwich City, noted that there were no plans in place to sign the Chile international.
Asked if the club are trying to sign Alexis Sanchez, Conte says: 'I don't think so.'
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 16, 2018
I can’t help but find it strange that discussion of Chelsea entering the race for Sanchez emerged concurrently with the news that Man City, having refused to improve their £20m offer, had pulled the plug on their pursuit.
Bringing in a third party makes it less obvious that they were outbid by their rivals across town – a poorly constructed attempt at saving face.
There have been no signs from the Chelsea camp that they are indeed interested in Sanchez, and any attempt to secure his services would require some serious legwork in a short space of time given that United have already virtually agreed a move with Sanchez.