Drinkwater ‘having an unlucky season’ at Chelsea

Antonio Conte believes Danny Drinkwater has been unlucky during his first season at Chelsea.

It follows reports the midfielder is unhappy with his limited first-team opportunities since arriving from Leicester City last year and could seek a move from Stamford Bridge this summer.

The Telegraph have subsequently linked Drinkwater with a potential move to West Ham. 

However, Blues boss Conte insisted at a media conference on Friday afternoon that injury problems have been a major factor in Drinkwater’s frustrating campaign.

Conte said: “I think he’s having an unlucky season, Danny, because he started the season with a problem in his calf and then he continued to have problems.

“For sure for him it has not been a lucky season. But we are talking about a good midfielder, a good player and I trust him.”

Asked if Drinkwater could expect to play more often if the England international stays at Chelsea, Conte said: “Now is not the right moment to speak about one player and specifically one situation.

“It’s a moment when we have to think about the team to try to improve our table and our performances, to finish the season as strong as possible.”

Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation over the future of Thibaut Courtois.

Real Madrid have been consistently linked with the goalkeeper and Paris St-Germain are also said to be interested.

His Chelsea contract expires next year and he has been discussing a new deal.

Asked about PSG being linked with Courtois, Conte said: “I am listening to this question for a long time and my answer is always the same.

“We are talking about a really good keeper, but as you know very well this (the contract negotiations) is a problem to solve between the club and Thibaut.”