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CFC

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke at press conference yesterday, ahead of next Premier League clash against Leicester.

Midfielder N’Golo Kante is expected to feature regularly against his former club today when Chelsea are set to face Claudio Ranieri’s team.

“It can happen that when you change and you go from one team to another, with totally different expectations and different pressures, you can suffer and then you don’t have good performances at the start of the season, – Conte said speaking about the Frenchman – But N’Golo went into the team very well. I remember when he arrived in pre-season. It was later than the other players because he finished his holidays after them, but he’s started his path at Chelsea very well”.

 

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The news broke tonight and it’s sensational: Diego Costa has not been selected by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte for Leicester City away clash and behind this there could be a transfer market reason.

It’s understood that the Spanish striker did not train fully with the rest of the squad during the week, claiming himself he was going through low back pain.

But, apparently, this could just ax excuse, because the real reason for Costa’s behaviour would be a monster offer from a Chinese Super League side that the player and his entourage are taking into consideration in these days.

Sources from England and Italy are claiming that part of the Brazilian-born-striker staff are in China to discuss another record move with Tianjin Quanjian, that are ready to place a £80m bid on the Spaniard and to offer a £ 30m-per-year-deal to the player.

It’s also reported that Conte and Costa frequently argued during past week over the matter, with the Italian manager yelling to Diego during a bust-up ” Go to China!” as Sky Sport Italia reports.

The ex Juventus boss also didn’t like the fact that Costa apparently faked an injury to not take part to group trainings during the past week, where Costa trained most of the time alone, this is the reason why also a fitness coach was involved in the bust-up, since the coach was claiming Costa had no back issues.

Chelsea refused to comment the news.

 

 

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte won the 3rd Premier League Manager of the Month in a row today.

The Italian manager, speaking at press conference ahead of next clash against Leicester, told journalists he is a great admirer of Claudio Ranieri, who’s ‘a really great manager, a great man’.

“I am proud to know him and sometimes to call him to speak. He did a great job last season and not only then” Conte added.

“I knew him when he was coach in Italy, at Chelsea, at Valencia. He’s a great coach and he deserves this award. He did a great job. I’m pleased for him”.

Leicester are currently struggling in Premier League despite passing through the next stage in Champions League, where they are set to face Spanish side Seville.

“I am not surprised because this league is very tough. I consider them a really good team with good players, strong players, players with talent and technique, a good mix. They have a great manager. It can happen in this league. Don’t forget Chelsea last season”.

“The Leicester game is very important for us to restart to win. Leicester are the champions from last season, they have a lot of good players with good quality, they have impressed me”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke at press conference today ahead of next clash against Leicester City.

Defensive midfielder Nathan Ake was recently called back from his season-long loan at Bournemouth.

“I’m very pleased for him to stay with us. In this one-year-and-a-half he has improved a lot – Conte told the club’s official website – This shows that it’s important for a young player born in the Academy to go and play on loan, and then, when they are ready, come back and play with us”.

“Ake is a really good example. He is a good player, very young but with a good personality. He can play as a central defender, in the middle or on the left, he could play as a wing-back. It’s important now to work with us. He’s trained with us only a few days”.

“It’s important for him to have a bit of time to go into our idea of football and adapt, and then be under consideration”.

“In these days I tried him as a central defender; it’s important for me to have a bit of time with him to know him better, and to try to find out the best position for him. He can play in different roles and it’s very important for us he is able to do that”.

“This makes me more calm in the January market. The first impressions are a lot of positives. He has good personality and he’s mature. It’s not a gift for him. I don’t like to give gifts. Somebody must deserve to come back.”

 

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Chelsea winger Willian is aware of the importance of keeping the leadership as ‘teams are trying even harder to beat us’.

“In the Premier League you never know what can happen in the future – the Brazilian star said – In one month, in two games even. Everything can change and that’s why we have to stay at the same level we have been”.

“Teams are trying even harder to beat us, which is why now especially, we are in a moment where we have to prepare ourselves for that”.

Chelsea are set to face Premier League champions Leicester at King Power Stadium on matchday 21

“The sides coming against us want to stop us and maybe they will play like West Brom did, with eight players behind the ball, staying back and wanting to play on the counter attack”.

“We have to stay focussed because it’s difficult to beat those teams sometimes. In those kind of games when you have one, two or three chances, you have to score when those chances come.”

“The team is playing well and I was prepared to wait for my opportunity. I had to continue to work hard every day and when I came into the team I had to bring something different.

Willian did not play every Premier League game this season so far also due to the great performances showed by his teammate Pedro, who cover the same position on the pitch.

“The players that start on the bench have to be concentrated from the start of the game because when we come on, we have to make a difference.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was named Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for December, winning his third award in a row since he joined the Blues in summer.

Conte told the club’s official website: “I’m very proud, it’s a great honour for me but I want to say thanks to all of my players, my staff and the club because we won the award together. Now it’s important to continue to work very well together”.

‘I enjoyed my first Christmas period a lot. This type of atmosphere only happens in England and it was fantastic. I hope to experience it again many times in the future”.

Conte became the first man to win the prize three times in succession.

“When you win you usually see a lot of positive things and every game was different. We won six matches and to do that, especially in December, is very difficult”.

“If I had to pick out one game I would choose West Brom, because it was very tough and we scored with 15 minutes remaining. My players showed me great character and a strong will to win right until the end that day, which I always like to see”.

Chelsea Staff

 

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New Shanghai SIPG star Oscar believes that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ‘is a nice guy who won the group’ as the Brazilian is quoted to have told Omnisport.

“At the beginning, it was not easy because his philosophy is a bit different – Oscar added – But everyone has adapted and now the results is showing up.”

When asked about former teammate Diego Costa, Oscar claimed: “Diego is really in a great phase, I’m really happy about it,” 

“He’s a really nice guy. But not only him, I think the whole team is doing very well now, so it stands to reason that he is the centre-forward who is scoring more goals, and is standing out a lot.”

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“I could easily have stayed in Chelsea for the remaining six months of my contract but it won’t be in the best interest of my nation, as they need me match fit when the World Cup 2018 qualifiers resume,” former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi told Owngoalnigeria.com.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I seriously need matches to stay fit for Nigeria”. 

The 29-year-old joined Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA last week: “Nigerians don’t deserve to miss out on the World Cup after back-to-back failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. – he added – I haven’t featured as much this season as I would have liked and at 29 I still have many years in the game ahead of me”.

“With this in mind, I feel now is the time to seek a new challenge. I’m delighted to be joining Tianjin TEDA at a time that the Chinese Super League is really taking off.” 

Then Obi Mikel ended: “I look forward to helping Tianjin continue to grow both on and off the pitch in the next few years.”

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Burnley defender Michael Keane admits to be “flattered” by some Premier League giants interest, as Chelsea and Everton.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, the former Manchester United academy player said:

“It’s nice to see. It wouldn’t happen if you weren’t playing well.

“But I don’t let it affect me at all, it doesn’t affect me going into matchday or going into training every day. I just get on with my football.

“I’m really happy here at Burnley, but it is flattering to see.”

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