Bemused Conte Rules Out Sanchez as West Ham Talks Begin

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A bewildered Antonio Conte ruled out a late move for Alexis Sanchez as Chelsea instead opened talks with West Ham United for Andy Carroll, reports the Evening Standard.

The two 29-year-old’s couldn’t be more different strikers and the move for Carroll is a surprise despite rumours heavily linking him to Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte effectively gave Manchester United a free run at Alexis when he ruled out a move to Arsenal in resigned tones at yesterday’s press conference ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third round replay against Norwich City.

The Hammers are reportedly demanding £20m for the 6’4″ Geordie whose career has been plagued by injuries. Carroll hasn’t featured in more than 30 league games in one season since 2011/12 when he featured in 35 for Liverpool.

Since moving to West Ham, he has played in 110 of the 238 games played in those six seasons. It’s a huge risk for the Blues to sign him, even if Alvaro Morata, 25, is misfiring in front of goal.

For the same money, Chelsea could face off against Manchester City for the Chilean. It seems Manchester United’s bid to sign Sanchez is doomed to failure with the deal hinging on Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving the other way.

The 28-year-old Armenia international is reported to want a pay-off from Manchester United, his agent’s fees paid and a pay-rise on his £200,000 per week wages.

With Manchester City walking away from a £20m deal, Arsenal’s options for receiving cash for Sanchez are diminishing. The only surprise is that Chelsea haven’t stepped in to make a bid.