Conte on Hazard, Costa, Barkley, transfers and Maguire

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked about a number of issues at a news conference on Friday ahead of the game against Leicester. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.

On Eden Hazard

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“Now Eden is available and is in the list for the game tomorrow. I think he is improving a lot and has done a lot of work to be ready and I think now I can count on him.

“I have to decide the right moment and the right minutes, but for sure he is available now.

“When there is a bad injury and surgery it is normal to pay attention to recovery. He is an important player for us. It is important to play soon but also important to continue to play.”

On Danny Drinkwater

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“Danny – we are working with him and we are trying to make him in the best physical condition but it is normal when there is the transfer window and there is the possibility to go to another team, it is not simple.

“It was a good buy for us and he is working well with us this week. He improves a lot his physical condition and he is in the squad for the Leicester game but I do not know honestly when he will be ready to play.”

On Davide Zappacosta

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“Davide played a game against Israel in the national team and showed he is in good physical condition.

“Also he worked with me in the national team and knows very well which is my style of football and my ideas, and for this reason it is more simple for him to adapt to our style of football.

“Davide is a good player. He is a young player and for this reason he has a lot of space to improve. He makes good runs during the game and has good quality. He is wing-back and usually he prefers to play on the right but can play on the left. David is ready and you will very soon his performance.

“He has a great chance because he arrives in a great club. It is important to go into this club with the right mentality. It is not easy to play for a great club. It is not easy to play in another country but he has the ability to adapt very soon.”

On the international break

“For us it was a good moment to stop. This international break allowed us to recover the players very well – Hazard for example – and then give me the possibility to work with the players.”

On reports he failed to sign Ross Barkley because his phone was switched off

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“It is ridiculous what I read.”

On the transfer window

“The club tried to do its best in the transfer market. Sometimes you are able to buy and sometimes you are not for many reasons.

“We have to wait until the end of the season and we can see and I can reply very well to this question. The club tried to do its best. Now it’s closed, so it is time to continue to work with these players and I am very happy to work with the players we have. It is time to be focused on the present. The transfer window is closed and is the past.”

On Diego Costa being linked with a move to Turkey

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“There is no news about him. I don’t know – my focus is on English football, not Turkey.

“When you are a manager and a coach you must be prepared to face every situation. But every manager has great experience to face these type of situations.”

On a busy few weeks ahead

“Tomorrow it is important to start very well because in September we have seven games in 21 days and we must be prepared to face every game the right way.

“You have to analyse every game and then try to have an idea and a plan in your mind. It is very important to analyse game by game because after the Leicester game I don’t know if there are injuries or suspensions or not. Sometimes you are good to prepare your plan and then have to change it.”

On Leicester

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“When a team has players like [Jamie] Vardy and [Riyad] Mahrez you must pay great attention. Don’t forget [Harry] Maguire and great experience with [Wes] Morgan and [Christian] Fuchs – the captain of the national team. Two seasons ago they won the league and when you win the league you are a strong team.

“Maguire has the right characteristics to play for the national team for many years.”