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New Chelsea signing Ross Barkley made his debut with the Blues shirt in the Carabao Cup semifinal against Arsenal last Wednesday when he replaced injured Willian.

The former Everton attacking midfielder didn’t impressed but it was his first appearance after a very bad hamstring injury occurred last August that ruled him out until the other night.

Today, Antonio Conte claimed Willian is still injured and sidelined for the next games, then he revealed the England international is ready to start:

“After a bad injury you need a little time to be fit 100%, if you want to speed this process up he has to play, not only training during the week, after Willian and Morata‘s injury, we don’t have other options.”

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte revealed three players are not in contention for next Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Newcastle:

“Morata, Willian, Courtois are out,” the Italian said.”

When questioned on their recovery time, he claimed:

“I don’t know because it’s very difficult to tell today how many days they need to come back.

Morata has got this problem in his back, Courtois received a kick in his ankle, Fabregas trained today with us and tomorrow I will check his form.

Willian is out and he will have a scan today to value the extent of his injury.”

During this afternoon pre-match press conference Conte was also questioned about this winter transfer window, that is about to close but, again, he told he has nothing to do with signings, giving all the responsibility to the club:

“As you know very well the club will inform you if there are any news, as I repeated before and I say every three days, I will be very happy to continue to work with my players, to continue to work with some players, my opinion and my mind doesn’t change after only three days.

“I am repeating always the same thing, I am the coach, my task is to try to do the best for this club and to try to improve my players.”

As I said before, for the transfer market there is the club, I don’t speak about this, if there are news they will inform you

When asked if he will be at Chelsea next summer, Conte replied:

Nothing has changed since last summer, I am happy to for with my players and to work for this club, I am happy to try to put everything, all myself, for this job every day.

“I think every competition is important, in Carabao Cup we tried to go until the final, we reached the semifinal and then we lost against Arsenal. Now there is this other competition, FA Cup, we will try to go to next round but as you know very well this competition is very difficult and our opponent have the same idea.”

Conte was also asked about what changed respect to last season with games played every three days in this one:

“I think the players are happy because they want to play every game and this kind of situation is more difficult for the coach, not for the players, because they love to play and don’t have training sessions.”

Ross Barkley made his debut with Chelsea shirt against Arsenal last Wednesday and the manager revealed he is ready to start:

“After a bad injury you need a little time to be fit 100%, if you want to speed this process up he has to play, not only training during the week, after Willian and Morata’s injury, we don’t have other options.”

 

 

 

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Esultanza dopo il gol di Edin Dzeko Roma. Goal celebration. Roma 07-02-2017 Stadio Olimpico Campionato Serie A, AS Roma - Fiorentina

Speaking after being knocked out by Arsenal in the Carabao Cup Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was cryptic when questioned about Edin Dzeko, who is supposed to join the Blues in the next hours:

“No news on Dzeko,” the Italian coach said.

“I don’t like to talk about the transfer market.”

And when pressed for his thoughts more generally about the transfer market, Conte added:

“No, I don’t need anything.

“I’m a coach and I continue to work with the players I have. They are great players.”

Dezeko, anyway, scored a last gasp equaliser against Sampdoria tonight, in what will probably be his last game for the Giallorossi.

The Bosnian striker has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, as well as the club reached agreement with AS Roma for the fee, and is expected to travel to London before the weekend to undergo a medical and put pen on his new deal.

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claims his team today were tired but he also admits the display they offered against Leicester today was not pleasant.

The Blues obtained the third goalless draw in a row after the ones against Norwich City in Fa Cup and Arsenal in the League Cup, failing to create dangerous chances again.

Alvaro Morata again struggled in front of goal and has now scored just twice in his last 10 matches, but Conte insists other players need to start sharing the burden:

“I don’t think it is only Morata’s problem, also the other players, because we are not scoring goals, we are not conceding, but we are not creating chances.

“I think we played with a lot of top players against Arsenal, and then again today against a very good team. I think a lot of our players were tired.

“In the first half Leicester ran more than us, they played better than us. But we knew we were playing against a good opponent, maybe the worst opponent we could have played in this moment. We suffered a lot in the first half.”

 

 

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The Conte v Mourinho feud has probably come to an end: the Manchester United boss claimed today he now regards his bitter feud with the Chelsea manager with “contempt”:

“I think when a person insults another, you can expect a response or you can expect contempt, silence,” Mourinho told the press today.

“The first time he insulted me I had a response, a response that I know touched the point where he really feels hurt.

“Then he insulted me for a second time, but now I change, and now there is contempt and for me, contempt means end of the story.”

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After the 2-2 in Premier League ten days ago, Arsenal and Chelsea got another draw tonight, but this time without goals.

After the game Antonio Conte was asked if the teams, who will meet again in two weeks, are too familiar:

“To play three times in three weeks is very strange,” the Italian manager claimed.

“It is more simple to prepare the game because you know the team and the way they are playing. When you reach the QF or SF of this trophy in England you must be prepared to face big teams.”

Asked if Arsenal, who will play the second leg at home, are favourites, the Blues boss replied:

“I don’t think so. We have the same possibilities to go through to the final. Not to concede could be very important for the second leg. To play at the Emirates is not easy or simple. We deserved to be in the semi-final and be very happy to do this.”

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Speaking about Ross Barkley‘s signing again Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claimed the former Everton midfielder will have to do everything to show he deserve being in the England squad for Russia 2018 World Cup:

“We have five months to show he deserves a call with the national team for the World Cup,” Conte told Sky Sports News.

I hope [he gets one], because it means he will do very well with us.

“It’s important for me to see him, to understand his physical condition,” the Italian added when asked about a timescale for the midfielder’s return to full fitness.

“My hope is to have this player [available] very quickly.

 “He can play in midfield, if we play with three midfielders, or number 10 if we play 3-4-3. Before playing we must be sure that he is into our idea of football. Otherwise, it’s a problem for him and it’s a problem for the rest of the team.”

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 31: Munich player Arturo Vidal reacts during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and Bayern Muenchen at Celtic Park on October 31, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes dismisses Arturo Vidal’s links with Chelsea.

The Chile international was said to be in the Blues’ radar for this transfer window, due also to his lack of playing time in the Bundesliga side.

But Heynckes claimed the former Juventus player is not for sale:

“There’s been no contact between Chelsea and Bayern,” the German coach said in a news conference on Saturday.

“We won’t sell Arturo Vidal or any other player during the winter market.

“Arturo is a fantastic player, I have a great respect for Arturo, and we spent many years in Juventus together.

“If we go to war, I’d always want him with me.”

 

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Chelsea today have signed Ross Barkley from Everton: this can change the future of a Blues youngster, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is now playing on loan at Crystal Palace, or, at least this is what Palace’s manager Roy Hodgson is hoping for.

The way Ruben’s been playing for us, he’s a player we’d like to have at our club, there’s no doubt about that,” Hodgson said. “It’s far too early to ask me that question – I didn’t know until this morning that Ross Barkley is possibly signing for Chelsea.  But Ruben’s a player we like very much, we’re very impressed with him, delighted with the way he’s developed as a player during the time he’s been here.‘I’m pretty sure that if he’s ever available for sale, we would certainly be in there with our hand up as one of the potential buyers. But it could well be that Chelsea would like to have both Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in their team. I wouldn’t mind both in my team, anyway.”

 

 

 

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger complained about the referee’s decision on the 1-2 penalty for Chelsea the other night but Blues manager Antonio Conte reckons the Frenchman’s comments are not right.

“We got a farcical decision on the penalty,” Wenger said.

“We looked like we were mentally shot and could have lost the game – we had the resources to come back to 2-2. Maybe it was a fair result”.

This is what Conte about these Wenger’s comments in today’s press conference ahead of FA Cup game against Norwich:

“I don’t like to speak about other coaches, I think you have to have to respect them,” the Italian started.

“Maybe Wenger forgot we finished with 10 men in the FA Cup and Community Shield, maybe the referee decision was a little strange. We must accept the referee decisions. Wenger is an old coach, he’s got a lot of experience and he won a lot.

“If I want I can talk about referee decisions for one month. But I don’t want to do this because we should have respect for the referee’s decisions.”

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