Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Arsenal. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
Conte on David Luiz
“David improved a lot in his physical condition. Now in the last couple of days he worked with us and I think he could be in contention for the Norwich game.”
On Luiz’s future
“I am very happy to work with these players. I trust these players and I don’t see a problem.
“But at the same time I understand if some players are not playing with regularity and want to play with regularity. I understand this.
“My expectation is that all the players we have in our squad will stay here and try to continue to work – also because our squad is not big and for this reason it is impossible to send on loan one player or sell one player if we don’t get one player.”
On Charly Musonda
“Musonda is the same condition (as Luiz). He could be in contention for the Norwich game.”
On whether reports he wants to sign Giorgio Chiellini are accurate
“No. I must be honest. Giorgio is a fantastic player but I think he wants to finish his career at Juventus and I think it is right to finish his career in this way.
“There is a lot of speculation. It is normal when the transfer window starts.
“It is a difficult moment for every coach and every club. There are many speculations and for sure with some speculation there is truth and others only speculation.
“For us in this period we must be very focused on our target, Tomorrow we have a very tough game against Arsenal and we need to find the right concentration.”
On the transfer window
“My expectations can be a lot or not. The most important thing is my opinion. I will give my opinion to the club and then the club has to take the best decision. I repeat, I can give my opinion.
“I’m the coach and my main task is to work on the pitch with these players. Then if the club ask me for my opinion on the team, I will try to give my opinion.
“For every coach it’s the same situation. I’ll give my opinion if the club ask. The club then decides what’s the best for the team and the club.”
On whether he expects to be given the Diego Costa transfer fee to spend
“I don’t know what will happen. It’s not my decision, it’s down to the club. I’m ready to face every situation. I have to work very hard with my players.”
On the hectic fixtures list
“I don’t like to complain. If you remember, four times I complained about the fixtures for the game against City and Liverpool. I think it’s important – as this is a problem.
“When there is a problem you have to face it and solve it with honesty. And you have to give the same chances to all the clubs, not just Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester City. Someone has to think and not to close their eyes and continue this way. This way is not right.
“The problem is always the same. Every coach has complained about the fixtures and that it’s not the right rest for the players – they risk injuries in this way. I think that we have to protect the players and protect this product.
“We can’t push, push and push. But if you continue to push it will be very difficult to stop. We must find the right solution.”
On whether players might be recalled from their loan spells
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“I don’t think this could be realistic. The players that went sent on loan, they are playing and I don’t see a possibility to come back.
“Ake, Musonda and Kenedy came back in January to improve our squad. But in this transfer window, I don’t know.”