Antonio Conte has claimed that Chelsea cannot compete with the financial might of Manchester City and Manchester United in the transfer market.
As reported by The Sun, Antonio Conte has admitted that Chelsea lag behind the two Manchester clubs when it comes to paying the premium for the best players in the world. The Italian manager also went on to claim that Manchester City and Manchester United’s financial might makes them “dangerous” for world football.
The comments come in the wake of Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United. The Red Devils signed the Chilean on a four-and-a-half-year deal worth an eye watering £500,000-a-week. Manchester City and Chelsea were also reportedly in the race to sign Sanchez, before pulling out due to his wage demands.
As far as Manchester City are concerned, they have not shied away from paying astronomical amounts to sign players, shelling out fees in excess of £150 million to bolster their defensive unit when they landed the likes of Ederson, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 23, 2018
Chelsea, on the other hand, seem to have become quite frugal with their transfer spending, only paying the big bucks for Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata, while the likes of Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley and Davide Zappacosta have all come for small-money moves in the last two summer windows.
In the current window too, Chelsea have been linked with miserly moves for the likes of Peter Crouch, Christian Benteke, Andy Carroll and Ashley Barnes. While the links to the aforementioned players in itself is a surprise, so is Chelsea’s limited transfer budget.
And Antonio Conte spoke about the same ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal as he confirmed why Chelsea were never in the running to sign Sanchez while also giving his two cents on Manchester City and Manchester United’s enormous financial power.
“Only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. If you want a player, you are faced with this reality. We never were in this race, ever. Especially because, I repeat, one of the reasons was this amount of salary.”
“If you continue to have this type of gap — it’s not only in England — these two big clubs can become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. They are strong already and want to invest. If you have money, you can have the best. Otherwise you find other ways to stand up and fight.”
Conte’s comments do carry a lot of weight, with similar situations ensuing in Spain and Germany, where the financial might of a handful of clubs creates a major disparity between them and the other sides as far as league football is concerned.
While the situation is not exactly the same in England, the two Manchester clubs do seem to be ebbing away from the other clubs, with Chelsea competing to be the best of the rest for now. Conte though, would hope that Roman Abramovich agrees to loosen his purse string a little to ensure his club remains competitive.