Antonio Conte has spoken on his preferred style of transfer at Chelsea, and the situation with David Luiz.
Conte insisted no Chelsea player will leave this month unless he is able to find a replacement first.
The Italian has consistently moaned about the size of his squad since the summer and is determined to ensure it doesn’t get any smaller.
Defender David Luiz and striker Michy Batshuayi both face uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge. The former has had a difficult relationship with Conte this season, whereas Batshuayi is hoping to leave on loan in order to secure more first team football.
However Conte said, “My expectation for all the players we have in the squad is to stay here and to try to continue to work.”
“Our squad is not big. For this reason I think it’s impossible to send on loan one player or to sell one player, if we don’t take another player.”
Luiz’s role at the club has come under particular scrutiny, but Conte appeared to suggest the Brazil international won’t be sold.
The centre half has been ruled out for the past month with a knee injury but is set to return to action against Norwich in the FA Cup on Saturday.
When asked if Luiz is staying, Conte added, “I repeat: I’m very happy to work with these players, I trust these players. I don’t see a problem. At the same time I understand if some players are not playing with regularity and want to play with regularity.”
Chelsea are looking to make some signings this month, with Ross Barkley, Thomas Lemar and Alex Sandro on their wish-list.
Conte has made it clear that the final decision on whether transfers are made rests with the hierarchy, not with him.
He said, “There is a lot of speculation. It’s normal when the transfer window starts, it’s a difficult moment for every coach, for every club. You have to face many speculations.”
“Honestly, my expectations can be a lot, or not. But the most important thing is my opinion. I try to give my opinion to the club and then the club has to take the best decision for the team.”
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“I repeat, I can give my opinion. I’m only a coach. My main task is to work on the pitch with my players. If the club decide to ask me something about my team, I try to give my opinion.”
One player definitely not moving to west London is Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, who has been linked with the English champions recently.
When asked if Chiellini will be joining the Blues, Conte said:, “No, I must be honest. Giorgio is a fantastic player, a really good player. I think he wants to finish his career at Juventus. I think it’s right to finish his career in this way.”