Antonio Conte has refused to deny Chelsea's interest in Alexis Sanchez, amid stories regarding Arsenal's struggles in tying the Chile international down to a new deal. The Italian was also coy on his plans for the upcoming transfer window, but did admit Mikel John Obi's days at Stamford Bridge could be numbered.
Recent reports have claimed the Blues are closely monitoring the Sanchez situation, as the former Barcelona star will be out of contract at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2018. He would seem a perfect fit to partner Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in Conte's 3-4-3 formation.
Arsene Wenger recently warned potential suitors to forget about either Sanchez or Mesut Ozil after stating Arsenal will not sell the pair next year, even if the duo refuse a new deal.
But Conte has now refused to confirm or deny any Blues interest in the Gunners ace.
"I don't think it's right to talk about other players of other teams. It's not right," Conte said as quoted by Evening Standard when asked about Sanchez. "But now we are totally focused on the next game against West Bromwich. January or next season are very far [away] for us, but it's not right to talk about the players of other teams. It's a lack of respect for their players, their clubs, my team and my club."
The Premier League leaders have also been linked with some other players ahead of the forthcoming January transfer window. However, having used almost the same XI during the recent run of form, Conte has been advised to address the shortage of options in the coming mercato to push for the title at the business end of the season.
However, Conte also failed to disclose his plans for January, insisting that his only concern is in his side securing their nine consecutive league victory when West Brom visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday (11 December).
Speaking about the prospect of buying anyone next month, he added: "As I said before, now it's important to be focused on the next game against West Brom.
"Then we'll have four games before January. It's important to be focused on this game. January is far away for me. Now I'm pleased, very glad, with this squad and to work with these players. For this reason, I repeat: stay concentrated on this game, go game by game, and then we'll see."
Meanwhile, Obi Mikel's exit looks closer than ever with his contract at Chelsea set to expire in the summer. The 29-year-old midfielder has failed to play a single game in the first part of the season and the Italian boss suggested the Blues are unlikely to offer him a new deal.
"The situation with Obi Mikel is simple: he's in the squad. He stays with us. We know that, at the end of the season, probably his contract will expire," Conte said. "But I don't know what happens now. He's a player who is part of this squad, and every single game I take my decision about him."
"Would I like him to get a new contract? I don't think this is the place to talk about this. If I have to talk about the contracts of my players, I prefer to do it in the right place with my club."