Antonio Conte will not make January transfer demands

Antonio Conte says he will wait to be asked his opinion rather than make demands to improve his Chelsea squad in January.
Antonio Conte will not make January transfer demands

The Italian earlier this season expressed frustration at Chelsea’s summer transfer market, particularly in comparison with Manchester City’s recruitment.

City lead Chelsea, last season’s Premier League champions in Conte’s first season, by 11 points after 13 games ahead of the Blues’ clash tonight with Swansea.

“If one day the club try to ask me something about this topic I can give my opinion, but at the same time I am very happy to work for this club with these players,” said Conte. “I know and the club knows very well we are trying to build something important for the present, for the future. We started to build something last season. Last season we were so good to win, at the same time, but don’t forget we are building.”

Chelsea took a game-by-game approach in Conte’s first season and are doing so again.

The Blues boss added: “Our target must be to see the team that is before us. In this case, Manchester United. Our first target is to catch them up.

“This must be our mentality and, in every game, we have to try to win and do our best. This must be the right mentality, winning mentality.”

Conte thinks pressure is key for Chelsea in order for them to succeed.

“If there is not pressure, I put pressure on myself, the players, the club, because it is right to have pressure,” he said. “It is a vital part if you want to create something important, if you want to win.”

Tonight’s game sees Paul Clement face a reunion with Alvaro Morata, the Swansea boss delighted the Chelsea striker has proved his early-season critics wrong. The pair worked together at Real Madrid, when Clement was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant and Morata was trying to nail down a first-team place.

Morata won a Champions League winners’ medal under Ancelotti in 2013-14, but joined Juventus, with his game time limited by the presence of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I worked with Alvaro a lot, because what you find as a coach is that the regulars are playing and recovering all the time and he was sometimes getting on and training more,” said Clement. “He was always a hard-working player, who loved to work on his game and, with greater minutes at big clubs, his levels have gone up.

“He’s strong, quick, good in the air and knows what it’s like to play for a big club. He’s played at Real Madrid and Juventus, arguably the two biggest clubs in those leagues, and has now made a good adaptation at Chelsea.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox