Antonio Conte believes Chelsea and the other clubs being left behind by Manchester City must stop Pep Guardiola’s side from strengthening even further.
City hold an 11-point lead at the Premier League summit and have yet to be beaten this season. Many fancied Tottenham to give Guardiola’s men a decent challenge at the weekend, but Spurs were brushed aside 4-1 at the Etihad.
As January approaches, City are considering reinforcing their already-formidable squad, with Virgil van Dijk said to be an option.
The Southampton defender was left out of Southampton’s defeat at Chelsea at the weekend, with the Blues and Liverpool also said to be interested in the Holland centre-half.
Conte says City’s rivals must compete with the leaders in the transfer market if they hope to challenge them on the pitch.
“Every team, every club, must pay great attention,” the Chelsea boss warned. “Because if a club like Manchester City takes all the best [players], it will be very difficult for us to fight. Not only in England but in Europe.”
The Italian coach has no problem with City using their financial might to enhance their prospects.
“If they can do this, it is right for them to do this,” he added. “We must pay great respect.
“When you have this opportunity to go in the market to spend a lot of money, I think it is right to do this.”