Antonio Conte Downplays Chelsea Interest in Alexis Sanchez

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round replay at home versus Norwich City, played down his club’s interest in Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. Yesterday brought reports of Manchester City ending their interest in Sanchez, and believing that Chelsea had reached out to the player’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, hoping to hijack Manchester United’s bid to acquire the Chilean.

Given the recent row between Conte and United manager Jose Mourinho, any narrative of conflict between the two clubs is certainly very believable at this point.

However, when the Italian was asked if Chelsea are making a play to sign Sanchez, Antonio Conte responded: “I don’t know, but I don’t think so.”

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Furthermore, Conte was very reluctant to discuss the transfer market this January window.

“About the transfer market, I prefer to talk to the club, also to give opinions,” he added. “I repeat: I don’t want to give my opinion about the transfer market.”

Of course, it’s certainly not in Conte’s interest to talk up a player that his club is keen on acquiring. Confirming, and thus hyping a desire to sign a player only drives the price up, and there’s, reportedly, already a bidding war underway for Sanchez. While Antonio Conte didn’t say much at all, the agent for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mino Raiola talked more, saying that his client is actually the key to Arsenal selling their stellar forward to Old Trafford.

Obviously, an agent very much has an interest in discussing, and thus hyping a potential transfer situation.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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