Antonio Conte Opens Up About January Transfer Plans

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When Antonio Conte began his Chelsea reign back in the summer, he splashed around £125million on new personnel. With the January transfer window on the horizon, every passing day only swells up with rumours that another busy spell is expected.

Chelsea are currently on cloud nine, sitting at the peak of the Premier League table after 12 matches, with six wins on the trot and not conceding a single goal. Looking at their fabulous form, which position is Conte looking to invest further remains a big question. Thankfully, the main man has finally spoken.

With their legend John Terry nearing his career climax and recent injury issues of Kurt Zouma, Conte was reported to be keen on adding new faces to his backline. Among the mentioned names were Roma’s Antonio Rudiger, Burnley’s Michael Keane, Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly. However, when questioned by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (via Daily Express) regarding defensive reinforcements, he firmly said: “The squad is complete. Talk is premature.” Perhaps the return of Zouma after his lengthy injury has served as a major boost for the Italian.

Antonio Conte

When asked further about the possible departure of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Oscar, the 47-year-old stated, “Gossip. I am not going to send them away. They are important players for Chelsea.” This certainly raised the eyebrows of many as both players have been frozen out by Conte, predominantly after switching to the 3-4-3 strategy that has turned fortunes around for the club. On Monday, the Spaniard, alongside Zouma, Terry and Michy Batshuayi, did feature for the Chelsea development team against Southampton at Cobham with Conte watching closely. Fabregas took control of the match brilliantly, created danger with his passing prowess and bagged himself two assists. Meanwhile, Batshuayi found the back of the net twice.

Oscar, on the other hand, did play for 25 minutes in the previous two league matches yet barely could make an impact as both matches were already done and dusted even before he got onto the pitch. No one could deny his talent yet when it comes to work-rate, something that Conte emphasizes on his players, he seems to fall short.

What Conte said would be rhythm to ears for both players, however warming up the bench is clearly derailing their career and it’s understandable that offers would be flocking in for their services once the window opens. Will Conte remain adamant to his words?

No doubt, the new boss is pretty contented with his current squad and their performance. Maybe he is just working in the background to add one or two more individuals to ensure they remain at the top of the table till May.

Next up is Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge and Conte expects his side to maintain their momentum and seize all three points.

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