Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that he is a huge fan of Chilean duo Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez ahead of their game against Arsenal at the Emirates. Sanchez is on his final six months of his contract at north London and Conte suggested that they may look to make a move for the 29-year-old if an opportunity presents itself.
The Chilean international, out of contract at the end of the season, responded to criticism of his recent ineffective performances with an impressive man-of-the-match display on Thursday night (28 December) that saw him net twice in four second-half minutes to help his side secure a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace .
He hogged the headlines yet again in their game against West Bromwich Albion, where his free-kick deflected off the Baggies wall and into the net to afford Arsenal the lead in the final 10 minutes of the game. However, a controversial penalty decision by referee Mike Dean allowed the bottom side to equalise, as the Gunners dropped two crucial points.
Manchester City are believed to be favourites for his signature after missing out on the 29-year-old in the summer. Pep Guardiola has recently spoken about his admiration for the Chilean after news of an injury to Gabriel Jesus, which could see them rekindle their interest in January.
Meanwhile, Conte and Vidal share a special relationship since their time with Juventus, having won three consecutive SerieA titles together, as well as one Coppa Italia. And since returning to Germany with Bayern, he has won back-to-back league championships, establishing himself as among the best in the game.
However, Conte has revealed that he is not directly involved in any transfers and has even changed his phone number to prevent calls from agents as he wants to concentrate on the technical aspect of the game. Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, not Conte, is in charge of new signings at Chelsea as Roman Abramovich's representative at the club.
"I think there is this maybe this habit here, but I'm not involved in the transfer market, I give my opinion but the club decide for the players they want to buy, to invest in," he told reporters, as quoted by Goal.
"I changed my number. I don't have this problem. In this period for us it's very difficult, but it's right for the club to be involved 100 per cent in the transfer market and to try to do the best for the team and for the club and I'm ready to face every situation.
"We must stay calm. I don't like to speak about other players of other teams but you are talking about two big and strong players, top players for their roles, and Vidal is one of the best in the world but Sanchez is the same as a striker."