Maurizio Sarri admitted that he was unaware of Chelsea's move to sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund until it was completed, but played down the suggestion that he would rather have the United States international now than next summer.
Chelsea confirmed on Wednesday that they have agreed to pay €64 million to sign Pulisic from Dortmund on a five-and-a-half-year contract, but the 20-year-old will spend the rest of the season in Germany.
Speaking after Wednesday's goalless draw against Southampton, Sarri said the club asked his opinion of Pulisic a month ago and he signalled his approval of the winger, but he did not ask to be kept updated on negotiations.
"I didn't know anything about [Chelsea signing] Christian Pulisic yesterday," Sarri told BBC Sport after the game. "The club asked my opinion about him one month ago and my opinion was positive and I knew the deal was done [today] but I didn't know anything. I'm not in charge of the market.
"We have to play every three days so I cannot think of next year, I have to think about the next match."
Sarri is currently short of wing options with Pedro Rodriguez and Callum Hudson-Odoi sidelined by hamstring injuries, and his problems worsened with the first-half withdrawal of Willian following a hefty challenge by Southampton defender Maya Yoshida.