Chelsea Winning the Premier League Title Was a Little Miracle, Says Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has described Chelsea's title-winning season as a "little miracle" after being unable to compete with Manchester United in the signing of Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez completed his move from Arsenal to United on Monday (January 22), with Manchester City pulling out of the race due to the 29-year-old forward's wage demands. Sanchez is believed to have agreed a contract worth at least £450,000-a-week.

Conte says his team were "never in the race" to sign the Chilean due, in part, to the amount of his salary, and the Italian coach warned of how this situation may become "dangerous" for world football.

"I think, for sure, in this moment there are two teams in this league who are 'top'. They stay there," said Conte, as quoted by The Daily Telegraph. "The others have to fight. To fight for a place in the Champions League. It's not only here in England.

"These two big clubs can become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. These two teams are very strong already and want to invest. Alexis Sanchez, only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary."

Conte had issued a warning to the other clubs in the Premier League earlier in the season about selling their best players to the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United. He urged all the clubs to compete with City over signing the best players to prevent them dominating across the continent.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte at the Amex Stadium, Brighton, England, January 20. Conte believes Chelsea's title winning season was a "little miracle." Bryn Lennon/Getty

Conte's team faces Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal, having finished goalless a fortnight ago at Stamford Bridge. The winner will face City in the final on February 25 after Pep Guardiola's team beat Bristol City on Tuesday.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League table and 15 points behind runaway leaders City, but Conte insists he is pleased with his team's season so far.

"It's not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league," he said. "The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working hard and very well. This, for me, is a successful season. Last season, I think we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle."

Chelsea are also in the fourth round of the FA Cup, which takes place on Sunday as they host Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge, as well as the last-16 of the Champions League. Conte's team is up against Barcelona in February.