Conte: I don't think Chelsea have joined Alexis Sanchez transfer race

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The Italian played down speculation the Blues were rivaling Manchester United for the Arsenal forward's signature but did not give a definite answer

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte does not believe the club have been trying to sign Alexis Sanchez.

As reported by Goal, Alexis's proposed move to Manchester United has stalled, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who would be used as part of the deal, undecided as Mino Raiola seeks a contract pay-off for the player.

There had been reports that Chelsea were interested in hijacking the deal, with Jose Mourinho having hinted that there may well be rival interest in securing Alexis despite Manchester City having already pulled out of the race.

But asked in a media conference ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup third-round replay with Norwich City if the club had been pursuing Sanchez, Conte replied: "I don't know but I don't think so."

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Pressed for his general view on the transfer window, in which Chelsea have added midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton, Conte remained consistent in refusing to offer an opinion.

"I refer to the top of the club. I don't want to give my opinion about the transfer market," he added.

The Alexis to Manchester United transfer hinges on Mkhitaryan heading in the opposite direction, while the Gunners are also looking at Bordeaux winger Malcom and Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as potential replacements.