📰 Chelsea and Arsenal will go head to head on Wednesday for a place in the Carabao Cup final with Antonio Conte admitting neither team can compete financially with the might of the two Manchester clubs.
The Premier League champions had never been in contention to sign Alexis Sánchez this month, despite declaring an interest last summer, after it became clear the forward’s wage demands – he is believed to command a basic salary of around £300,000 a week – and agent fees would be prohibitive.
“In this moment, there are two teams in this league who are ‘top’,” Conte said. “The others have to fight for a place in the Champions League. Last season we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle. This season is showing this.
“It’s not simple [to finish above the Manchester clubs] because these big teams continue to improve and invest a lot of money, and there is this gap."
"Look at Alexis Sánchez. Only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. This is the market. If you want to buy Neymar, you must be ready to give him €25m in wages. If you want to buy Messi, Ronaldo, now Sánchez, you must be ready to pay his salary. We never were in this race for Sánchez, ever, and one of the reasons was this amount of salary.”