Antonio Conte has insisted Chelsea will not be held to ransom on transfer targets due to the over-inflated Premier League market.
The Chelsea boss has again branded the transfer market “crazy” as the rest of Europe tries to bleed as much money out of Premier League clubs, flush after the latest record TV rights deal. Chelsea are rumoured to be close to bringing Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to Stamford Bridge, but Conte’s frustrations suggest he is loath to pay the expected €70million asking price.
“At this moment it’s very difficult to buy because I think that also if you ask about a player of medium level it’s possible that you are asked for £50million,” said Conte.
“For this reason I said that this is a crazy, crazy market, because it’s very difficult to go into the market with this price, with this condition.
“And I’m not comfortable. I don’t like to pay a lot of money. If a player deserves us to pay money then it’s right, but for a medium player it’s right to pay the right price, not 20 or 30 million over.
“It’s not my money but I don’t like it all the same. I don’t find it right. For this reason we are waiting for the right situation. We must be patient and wait. “And I repeat, not only for Chelsea but also for the other clubs it’s very difficult to pay a good market.”
Conte comes face to face with old sparring partner Walter Mazzarri for the first time in the Premier League, but the former Juventus boss insists there is no lingering bad blood with the ex-Napoli manager.
Mazzarri had previously hinted that Conte had borrowed elements of his tactical approach when coaching Juventus. That prompted a niggly denial from Conte, before Mazzarri battled to smooth things over with an explanation of his original comments.
“I saw (Mazzarri) in the managers’ meeting” said Conte. “The relationship is very normal, I have great respect for him and his work.”
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