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Conte opens up about Chelsea transfer activity, contract situation

Arsenal v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte gave an in-depth interview to the Daily Mail touching on a variety of issues. He discussed how difficult last season was on his family and him personally, how he needed to be sure that Chelsea were with him before he fully committed. His family will be with him in London next year signaling a longer-term commitment from Conte to the club even if his new contract is technically only as long as the previous one.

“My desire, and the club’s, was to continue this work and, for this reason I renew a contract. Now it’s right to start to work together and it’s very important to know that there’s a lot of work to do.”

“To stay another season without the family would be very hard, very difficult. My daughter is at an age when it’s very important to see her grow, to stay every day with her. And also with my wife, because she would be jealous for this. They are coming. My family is very important. I think it will show my commitment to the club, to this project and to try — I repeat — to build something important.”

“When we finished last season and you were asking about my contract I told you that I have two years contract to go. And then I thought ‘‘this is the right way, to continue to give me motivation, to give the club motivation’. I don’t see any problem about this. And I’m happy with this new contract. The club recognised me and the job I did with the players last season. I’m happy, and I think it’s the same for the club. And we have time, eventually, to extend this contract.”

Arsenal v Chelsea: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Conte also stressed the importance of preparing for now, and the future.

“The most important thing for our club, players and fans is that we are building something important. I repeat, when you work in this way, the present is very important, but also the future.”

The interview then went into discussing this year’s transfer window and staying relevant. Conte understands that Chelsea need to not only get better in the starting lineup, but that depth will be vital this year. Chelsea are competing in four fronts this season and cannot just replace players in the starting eleven without adding depth.

“We are changing a lot and we are buying top players because we need to improve our squad because last season — and I repeat — we played regularly with 13 players.”

“Then this season we sold [Nathaniel] Chalobah, [Nathan] Ake and John Terry is gone, Costa too. [Kurt] Zouma went on loan and for now it is enough. We have [Tammy} Abraham out on loan, [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek went on loan and we need top players who must stay in our squad.”

“We have to understand that we have a situation where we are building with 11 players and now we have [Andreas] Christensen, Morata … but it’s not enough. We need more.”

“We lost a lot of big players. Last season was Terry, and then [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John Obi] Mikel, and in last few years we lost [Didier] Drogba, [Petr] Cech, [Frank] Lampard — a lot of big players that were fundamental at Chelsea. Now we need to rebuild again these fundamentals. We need to improve the quality aspect and the numerical aspect.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Daily Mail

Conte is saying in public what has likely been repeated behind closed doors. He realizes that Chelsea have made mostly like-for-like transfer moves. Rudiger, Morata, and Bakayoko come in with Terry, Costa, and Matić leaving.

Now, we’ll just have to see what Chelsea do about adding to the squad before the transfer window closes.

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