Antonio Conte has accepted that Nemanja Matic’s exit to Manchester United is a “great loss” for Chelsea and said that more signings are required for the Blues to have any hope of winning the Premier League title twice in two seasons.
Matic completed a £40 million transfer to Old Trafford recently, having been excused from Chelsea’s preseason tour of the Far East when it became very clear that his mind was made up to leave the Premier League champions in search of regular first-team football elsewhere.
“Matic knows very well what I think about him — the importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team,” he said. “But sometimes you must accept this crazy transfer market, and sometimes you must accept different decisions. But he is a great loss for us.”
“This league is not easy. Six teams are very strong and you must be prepared. I hope to be able to improve our squad. The transfer market is not finished. We want to be competitive and we want to fight for the title again. The club knows my priorities.
“It won’t be easy. It’s a great challenge for us to try and retain the title, but we are working hard.”
“Alvaro is a really good player, he’s still young despite having a lot of experience,” Conte added. “He needs to play regularly, he’s a player I trust a lot. I think he has good prospects for Chelsea — for now and the future.”
Asked if he would be involved from the start against Burnley on Saturday, Conte said: “He’s working very well and starting to understand our idea of football.”