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New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is sure he can rely on a special player in his new adventure at Stamford Bridge: the captain and the leader John Terry.

The Italian coach praised the Chelsea legend during an interview:

“John is in the history of this club. He can explain what it means to wear this shirt, this badge.

“He is the captain, he can transfer messages. To have a good relationship with John and the other players is important – and always with respect. I give that – but I demand that.”

And Conte thinks that Terry has a good few years in him yet:

“A player must play as long as he feels able to.

“If he has the will to go every day to training, to go away from his wife and children for many days. John can do this – because I see he has this will.”

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According to Gianlucadimarzio.com Juventus are still tracking several midfielders to replace Paul Pogba, that is set to join Manchester United this week in a £ 100m record transfer.

PSG‘s Blaise Matuidi is their first target but the midfielder that is closer to join the Bianconeri is Axel Witsel, despite no agreement was found with Zenit: the Russian side are asking a very high fee for a player whose contract will expire in 2017.

The Bianconeri are still keen on the Chelsea star Nemanja Matic, but it’s not easy to sign him: the Serbian midfielder woukd ask to be put on the market to leave, but new Blues boss Antonio Conte has no intention to let him go.

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According to ESPN, Inter Milan have just submitted Chelsea a €35.5/£30m offer to try to sign Brazilian star Oscar.

Another Italian side, Juventus, have been keen on him for a couple of seasons but now the attacking midfielder –  currently on a deal with Blues until June 2019- might be tempted to experience Serie A, after four seasons in the Premier League.

However,  new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte might not be enthusiastic to see him leave.

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Chelsea vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic is sure this Premier League will be really exciting, with many teams challenging for the title:

“Definitely, definitely,” he replied when asked whether it would be the most difficult season ever.

“Every team after last season will need to struggle. After Leicester won, they then want to be better, to be a new surprise [but] the big teams are still good so it is going to be very exciting.

“Exactly [you can play well and come fifth] but you can also win it. I think, with the new shape, we can improve a lot and we will make our players much better and, if our players are much better and if our players are on top of their game, then we can go very high.”

The Serbian defender also spoke about the job done by Chelsea until now, revealing Antonio Conte gave him a really good impression in these first weeks:

The harder it is in pre-season, the better it is for you in the season.

“He has a passion during the games you can see during the sessions as well so he wants to put us together as a team, to be strong, to be motivated, and to be hungry for every second during the game which is positive and good. I think we are still adapting and can improve as a team a lot. I think we are going to play in a different shape and it is going to be different for us, for the opponents and I think we are on a good road.

“I think it is true [that we will be more attacking] but, for me, I feel like we will be more defensively strong. I feel like that.”

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Officially left out for a an injury in the 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid, Diego Costa seems ready to face AC Milan in the third friendly of their USA tour.

The Spanish striker was involved in a “transfer market case” with his ex club Atletico Madrid, that was keen to sign him back, but eventually signed Gameiro from Sevilla and got also an unofficial blamed from Chelsea, disappointed with the Simeone’s club for approaching one of their players without the club permission.

Blues boss Antonio Conte tried to hose down these rumours claiming Diego Costa is happy at Chelsea:

“Diego has recovered from his injury and now he is available for tonight’s game against AC Milan,” the Evening Standard quotes the Italian coach as saying.

“I will decide the formation, the starting XI today. But he is available and I am very happy that I can count on him. I repeat that Diego Costa is now Chelsea‘s player and for me this is the most important thing in this moment.

“It is an opportunity to see him play against AC Milan. I repeat, Diego is Chelsea’s player and he is very happy to stay with us.”

 

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Antonio Conte believes that not playing in the Champions League this season will be beneficial for his Chelsea side.

Speaking to Englishe media in the USA he stated that he will have more time to work with his players during the week if he doesn’t have to think about mid-week games in the European competition.

“Not playing in the Champions League could be an opportunity because I will be able to work more with my players.

“If you ask me if I prefer this situation, I don’t because Chelsea must be in this competition. You do feel like you’re missing something when you’re not involved in the Champions League. It is a special competition and you want to play in it every year.

“But because we are not, I will have a whole week to train with my players and that gives me a chance to work with them more compared to Chelsea managers in previous seasons.”

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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola was contacted by Hull City to become their new boss after Steve Bruce left the club after four years in charge.

The ex Italian player already coached West Ham between 2008 and 2010 and Watford during season 2012-2013 in the English football, without impressing.

The last club he managed was Al Arabi, in Qatar, during the past season but he was sacked in the end of June.

Now the ex Blues playmaker might have new chance to prove his value also in the dugout can come.

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Antonio Conte reveals that he never thought of quitting football after match fixing allegations.

The new Chelsea manager was accused of failing to report his knowledge of attempted match fixing in 2011 when he was in charge of Siena in the Italian Serie B.

Conte denied the allegations from the outset, but was handed a 10-month ban, later reduced to four on appeal, by the Italy Football Federation in 2012.

Anyway, the story ended last May when he was acquitted of the match fixing chargers in the final trial.

“I could have chosen another way. It would have been very easy for me to finish and let the time pass.

“In Italy, in the past, with this type of story, five years and it’s finished.

“But no, I wanted to be judged. I knew in my heart the story was bad for me and my family. Many people wrote bad things without knowing the reality.”

“The national team chose me as the coach in this period of [allegations of] the fixing.

“I want always to win and I work very hard to win but never, never like this.”

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was often linked to Real Madrid in the past months, but the Champions of Europe manager dismissed all the rumours about this possible deal:

“He is a very, very good player,” the French manager said about the Belgian player after he beat Chelsea 3-2 in a friendly game in the USA.

“Obviously all clubs want the best players but he is a Chelsea player.”

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Antonio Conte is the only manager that beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a title race so far and the Italian coach wants to repeat himself also this year.

The Swedish striker won five leagues out of six while playing in the Serie A, and the only one he didn’t win was the 2011/2012, when Conte won his first Scudetto with Juventus, beating Milan in the last fixtures.

The new Blues boss hopes history can repeat with Chelsea vs Manchester United this year:

“As a coach it was the first championship of my career with Juventus. 

“It was fantastic because we started the season as the underdog and the press had us down for sixth or seventh place in the table.

“I remember that Milan had Zlatan Ibrahimovic and it was the only season that he didn’t win the championship.

“I hope that in this coming season, it is the same again!”

 

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