Antonio Conte has insisted that John Terry remains a key player for Chelsea and will continue as club captain.
Terry, 35, signed a new one-year contract in May after declaring that staying at Stamford Bridge would involve a “different role” for him.
However, speaking at his first press conference at Chelsea since taking over as Blues boss, Conte made it clear that Terry’s role would not significantly change.
“John Terry signed a contract as a player, not as a different role,” the Italian said.
“He is the captain of this team, a great player with a great personality and great charisma.
“I like to speak with him because I know he knows the club and the right spirit to play for this club. For me he’s an important player.
“John Terry is the captain of Chelsea when he plays – always. I repeat, he is an important player for me, for the club and the fans.
“I am very happy he signed a new deal. I spoke with him at different times and for me the most important thing was that he was very happy.”
‘Not right to say’
However, Conte was less willing to clarify Chelsea’s transfer plans.
The club have been linked with a host of players since his appointment was confirmed.
But he said: “It’s not right to say names. Those players are in other teams.
“I don’t like it when other managers speak about my players, and I don’t like to speak in the same way.”