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The work has only begun: Conte intends to ‘keep the best’ Chelsea players

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Always improve.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As the war chest makes a belated appearance (Silly Season’s almost here, little buddy, better not miss the bus helicopter!), with £200m supposedly set aside for spending this summer, up from £150m earlier this season, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte wants to make it clear that we’re not in the selling business at all.

We’re in the player buying business — as long as they’re the right players for the right price at the right fit — not the player selling business. The way forward, the next step in the constant improvement is not to sell our best, after all, but to improve our worst. (And the best, too, because Conte.)

“This season was very difficult for us but it’s great to reach this target and enjoy it with my players. I have to thank my players for the commitment and work-rate they’ve shown me.”

“Yes, for sure [we can improve] but we have only been working for nine months together. If we continue they can improve a lot because now they know my ideas and I know them, and their characteristics, so we can improve. I think the club wants to fight to win every competition and we have the same ambition. For this reason we will try to keep the best players.”

Chelsea appear to be targeting about three or four notable signings — defender, midfielder, attacker, wide player — but I do wonder if we’re trying to flip the narrative one last time on the Costa scenario (while declaring our intent on Hazard, Courtois, et al.). The man who celebrated like there is no tomorrow on Friday night has recently cast doubt on the China rumors while inspiring heady praise from Conte. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku was watching all the celebrations live on Instagram. So all that’s a bit murky.

What is clear for now is that we have two games left in the league and then the FA Cup final against Arsenal. Knowing what we know about Conte, he will be relighting the fires under the blazing inferno to make sure we finish the season with three wins.

“We have to work in training to prepare in the right way for these two games against Watford and Sunderland, and then prepare for the FA Cup final. We have the opportunity to win the Double and we must be ready to do this.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

The work never stops. Always improve.