Chelsea were rumoured to be competing with Manchester United to sign Alexis Sanchez on Monday night as Manchester City pulled out of a deal for the Arsenal man, but Antonio Conte is resigned to him joining another club.
Manchester United are negotiating a deal which may see Henrikh Mkhitaryan go to the London club along with a transfer fee and sizable wage demands.
Conte has long admired Sanchez but his wage demands are thought to be beyond Chelsea's capabilities as they focus on contract renewals for Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. The 47-year-old admits he's getting frustrated talking about a transfer that will never happen.
“No, but... I like to [only] talk about a situation that could be real. You understand?" Conte said to reporters at Cobham Training Ground. “Now, this is not important to talk about Sanchez. Not important. Because he's not our problem, so why do I have to waste words on nothing.”
Sanchez has less than six months left on his deal which is forcing Arsenal to negotiate with their rivals for his sale. The Chelsea head coach was then pressed on whether he thought the talk linking his club was irrelevant, to which he responded: "Yes, yes.”
Conte has had a number of complaints this season with Chelsea fixture list after he first bemoaned playing Manchester City just a few days after an away match against Atletico Madrid. Chelsea then played Manchester United after an away trip to Roma, while they also travelled to Liverpool after a game against Qarabag.
Chelsea have eight games in 28 days in January and Conte admits he is getting tired, although their upcoming FA Cup replay with Norwich City could have been avoided had his side not drawn 0-0 at Carrow Road.
“I think it's not enough to work only here to prepare games every three days," he added. "I continue to work at my house, at my home. Continue to watch videos. It's not enough to work only here. For sure, I spend time also when I stay at my house continuing to work.
“I think that we must prefer the quality and not the quantity. In this case, if we reduce the problem only for money, this is not good for the football. If the reason is only because I pay you, you have to play a lot of games, this is the only reason, then this is not right. You are diluting the quality. This is not right.
"This is the first time for me. Last season was my first season, but we didn't play Champions League or Carabao Cup, because we lost Carabao Cup in the second game and were out. This season we play Champions League and are going forward to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
"We are playing FA Cup. For sure, not only for the players, it's a busy period. Maybe it's a busy period more for me because I have to prepare the game in only three days. Anyone who knows me, I don't just prepare the game only to pick the starting XI.
"I prepare the game on particular aspects. I'm working a lot in this period. But this is our job and we must be happy because it means we are playing for all competitions.”
Chelsea take on Norwich on Wednesday with a league match against Brighton following on Saturday. The following Wednesday sees the Blues face Arsenal in the league cup semi-final second leg before Conte's side take on Bournemouth on the last day of January to round out the month.