Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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Antonio Conte gave a couple of injury updates ahead of Middlesbrough clash claiming that, anyway, he’s got a couple of days to recover these players and check their situations, since Boro are visiting Stamford Bridge on Monday night:

“Courtois trained today and I don’t see any problem about him. We are trying to see the situation, also about David Luiz and Kante, I have time to make the right decision. I have to check the situation to take the best decision.

“Kante has got a muscular injury, in his thigh.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte confirmed his players and him are focused just on the present, to fight for the title and the FA Cup.

Monday night clash against Middlesbrough will be especially tough because Boro are fighting to survive.

Speaking about injuries he revealed that he’s got a couple of concerns with important players when asked if Courtois was ok for the next game:

“Courtois trained today and I don’t see any problem about him. We are trying to see the situation, also about David Luiz and Kante, I have time to make the right decision. I have to check the situation to take the best decision.

“Kante has got a muscular injury, in his thigh.

“Our plan is to continue to work very hard to prepare for these final games, and also for the FA Cup final against Arsenal. This part of the season is not easy, every game is very tough, there is a lot of pressure, it’s difficult to recover. We are ready to face these four games.”

Asked if he will watch Tottenham match against West Ham tonight, he said:

“I don’t know if I will watch the game [ Spurs] because my wife and my daughter are in London, so maybe we will have a dinner together.”

Asked about Diego Costa’s future, he said:

“I don’t know about this, now it’s very important for every single person to be focused on Chelsea, the present is more important, we have 5 games until the end and we have to prepare for those.

“We haven’t discussed his future, because it’s not the most important thing now.

Speculations can distract players in this delicate moment of the year:

“I am not worried about this, I see my players every day and I can see the right concentration, the right focus, you have the chance to reach a fantastic target for us, to win the Premier League and play the FA Cup final, two big targets for us, they are very important. Speculations or news are not important.

“I repeat the same concept about him and about every single player for the future.”

Asked if these speculations were unsettling, he said:

“This part of the season it’s normal to cope with these speculations. Sometimes you can find the truth, other times it’s not.”

Speaking about Middlesbrough clash, he said:

“We must play a great game to try to get the three points, because this game is very important. With only three games to go it’s important to win, it won’t be easy because boro are fighting to survive in the league.”

“It’s normal when you stay in a great club to try to win the title and you must cope with pressure, every single player or the coach or club have good experience to face this moment.

Conte was also asked if, should he win the Premier League title, this will this be the greatest achievement of his career

“For sure to reach this result is a great achievement for sure, I hope to arrive to the end of the season with my players and club to celebrate something important for this season.
It won’t be easy until the end.

Middlesbrough are in the relegation zone and desperate to survive in the Premier League, asked if this game will be particularly tough for this reason, the Italian tactician said:

“In this case there are two teams with desperation to find the result. For us it’s the same, we have to win because Spurs are very close.”

Speculations of Conte moving to Inter next summer continues in Italy, ChelseaNews24 asked him if this annoyes or distract him:

“It’s the same. It’s the same speech for my players. The same for me. We must stay with great concentration until the end. I repeat: there is this great target, close, and for this reason I think we must think in the present. In the present. At this part of the season there are a lot of speculations about my players, also about me, but it’s not important. Not important, this. The most important thing now is to try and reach our target.”

The Blues boss explained also the importance of Cesc Fabregas:

“Fabregas is playing very well this season, his level is very high. He’s got a great commitment, great work during all the season, he’s playing very well, he’s a top player. Wether he starts the game or enter later, his contribution is important.”

Conte was asked if he can keep Cesc happy by just starting him now and again,  a player of that calibre and if he could  he become a leader in the absence of John Terry:

“Yeah… but I like to underline a concept, that I mustn’t keep the players happy. We must win. Because you can be happy at the right time, and to play every game. If you are unhappy in this season, when you are fighting for the title or to win the FA Cup, I think I don’t like when I listen to this type of questions. No, I don’t like. You speak about ‘happy’. I speak about ‘to win’ and to work very hard. I know that to work very hard is not simple. Players are not always happy to work very hard. But I think my target is to put in the mind of my players a winning mentality, and a winning mentality doesn’t have to keep the players happy. It’s very difficult to keep 20 players happy, above all because I don’t want to. I don’t want this. I want players ready to fight and to try to put themselves in the team, to try to win together. If you are happy or unhappy, I don’t care. It’s important to pass this concept, you understand?”

Conte was also asked if he will take the decision to ban the social media in the 48 hours previous to a game, like Jose Mourinho did at Manchester United:

“In social media I am a disaster, this topic is not simple to face, every single person must uses the social media in the right way, with balance. I think when you don’r have a good balance in using them is always dangerous. Especially when you are on holidays, bulglars can go to your house.”

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitted that something is missing to make his first season at Stamford Bridge fantastic:

“My first season is very good,” he said on Sky Sports.

“It’s very good for me because it’s a great experience. It’s my first time to work in another country as coach. 

“I think I am satisfied for my impact in this league. But for sure I want to go to the end and play to win with my players, with the club and the fans. 

“After a really good season like this, it is important for it to become a fantastic season. There is only one way for it to become a fantastic season and that is to win.”

Chelsea finished last season in 10th and weren’t many pundits’ pick for the title this year.

And Conte admits changing the opinion of the public has been his toughest task.

“The expectation of Chelsea at the start of the season wasn’t high.

“I think the expectation was to try and to fight and to get in the Champions League

“I think this situation pushed a lot the players and I to try to change the opinion of the press, the people who look at football every week.”

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This morning exclusive reports from Mirror Sports and Cadena Ser were stating that Chelsea striker Diego Costa had set personal terms with Tianjin Quanjian for a move next summer.

But the Chinese side itself dismissed this news with an official statement:

“Dear media and football fans, with regards to the current widespread rumours of Chelsea player Diego Costa joining Tianjin Quanjian, the club would like to make clear that no discussions have taken place regarding the transfer.”

Anyway, Shu Yuhui, the club’s billionaire owner, yesterday confirmed they have already agreed terms with a number of top European stars.

“The only thing I can reveal right now is that we have agreed terms with two or three stars,” Yuhui said.

“The players have no problem with the deals and their clubs are also willing to let them leave.

“The only issue that remains unresolved is reaching agreements with their respective clubs over the transfer fees.”

Tianjin are also keen on PSG’s Edinson Cavani, Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic.

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Barcelona have reportedly targeted Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in their quest for a full-back to add to their squad next summer.

The Culés have been scouting the Spaniard for months and are ready to place a bid to bring him to Camp Nou in the next transfer window.

On the Blaugrana‘s shortlist we find also Arsenal‘s Hector Bellerin and Bayern Leverkusen youngster Benjamin Henrichs.

Azpilicueta is aware of this interest and one month ago he claimed to be “flattered” about this.

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According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are ready to offer a new contract to Thibaut Courtois to prevent his move to Real Madrid next summer.

The British outlet revealed that the Belgian goalkeeper will receive an increase on his £120,000-per-week wages, while his existing deal which runs out in 2019 will be extended.

Courtois was often linked to Real Madrid since the Champions of Europe have been looking for top keeper for at least two years.

The ex Atletico number one is tempted to move back to a city where he was well settled when he was playing for Simeone’s side and Florentino Perez would reward him with a huge salary, should he accept to move to the Bernabéu.

Chelsea are trying to increase his wages to keep him at Stamford Bridge, but it’s unclear which shirt Courtois would like to wear next season.

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Despite showing his class onto the pitch every time he steps on it, Cesc Fabregas could leave Chelsea this summer, since he is frustrated for not being a regular started under Antonio Conte.

The Italian tactician seems to favour N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, who respectively started 33 and 28 games, while Fabregas just started 10 times in this season.

The Spaniard would like to gain more playing time and it’s no secret he maintained a good relationship with former Blues manager José Mourinho, now at Manchester United.

The Portuguese told the Red Devils he would be ready to welcome Fabregas to Old Trafford and Chelsea are asking at least £ 22m to let the 30-year-old go.

Liverpool, who are looking for a player who can take the lead of their midfield, are keen on him as well but Manchester  United seem in pole position to sign the ex Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder should he move from Stamford Bridge.

Fabregas is also tracked by both Inter and Milan but the Spaniard would prefer to remain in the Premier League.

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Chelsea defender David Luiz has revealed the secret of Antonio Conte success at Chelsea.

Speaking to FourFour Two magazine, the Brazilian defender said:

“He’s extremely meticulous.

“There isn’t a tiny detail he isn’t aware of. He’s the type of guy who sees things most people wouldn’t. In training he creates situations that he thinks could occur during the upcoming games – and it makes all the difference. 

“He also knows how to motivate us and gives confidence to the whole squad. We all know that he trusts in our ability and one of his best qualities is that he treats everyone equally.”

Speaking about the title race and the possibility to win the Premier League, who will be the first of his career, David Luiz claimed:

“Winning the Premier League has always been an obsession of mine.

“This is one of the toughest competitions in the world. We’ve worked hard to make this dream come true.

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte revealed he’s got a double personality and that he keeps celebrating on the pitch with his guys after winning games to build team spirit:

“There are two Antonios. Two different people,” Conte said.

“During the game, I know I am an animal.

“After the game, I must be relaxed when we win but I think it’s very good to celebrate this win with the players, staff and fans. I live for this.”

“We must be pleased because we played a game with the head and, at this part of this season, it is important to use our head, then your heart and then your legs.”

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Juventus has joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Celtic Glasgow star Moussa Dembelé.

The striker has been on fire during this season, with 32 goals and 9 assists served in 42 games with the Bhoys.

Chelsea and Manchester United have been tracking the former Fulham forward for a while, with Dembelé joining the Scottish side for only £ 500,000 last summer: now his fee could be around £ 20m/30m.

But, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato.com, now the two Premier League clubs have to challenge Juventus, that entered the race for the 20-year-old, who failed a medical with Spurs before joining Celtic last summer.

Dembelé was also scouted by Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the Bianconeri and the two English sides seem in pole position signing him in next transfer market window.

 

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