Antonio Conte believes the €300m offer made to Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo by an unnamed Chinese Super League club is wrong.
Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, claimed Real had been offered a €300m transfer fee for the player, who would in turn receive over €100m a year in salary. Mendes said his client had no interest in a deal.
Chelsea head coach Conte said: “I think it’s an incredible story. We are talking about a lot, lot, lot of money. I don’t want to trust in this. I don’t want to believe in this, because, I think, we are talking about an amount of money which is not right.”
Oscar moved from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG for £52m (€61m) last week, while Carlos Tevez, who played under Conte at Juventus, is the latest big-name player to move to China.
“I saw the last contract, the last contract with Carlos Tevez,” said Conte. “I think we are talking about a lot of money. This type of offer is incredible, and it’s very difficult for the players to say no.
“But I must be honest, I think it’s not right. You must have respect for the money. I don’t agree with this situation.”
Meanwhile, Conte has told goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to reject overtures from Real Madrid and create history at Chelsea.
The 24-year-old Belgium international spent three years on loan from Chelsea at Atletico Madrid before displacing Petr Cech as the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper.
Courtois has since been linked with a return to Madrid, with Real, prompting suggestions he could be offered a new contract with Premier League leaders Chelsea.
“Thibaut is a Chelsea player and I want him to stay here. I think he’s very happy to stay here. A goalkeeper like Thibaut deserves to stay at Chelsea for many years and become a type of player to stay and to write the story of this club, to become a legend at this club,” said Conte, who also wants Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge..
Chelsea are seeking a 13th successive Premier League win today, facing Stoke at 3pm; the Potters’ last outing saw them suffer a 4-1 loss at Liverpool on Tuesday.
Hughes feels his players can stop Chelsea’s winning run. “The run they are on at the moment is absolutely outstanding, but that run will come to an end at some point. We’re going into it with the intention of stopping the run if we can — and why can’t it be us?”
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