Chelsea boss Antonio Conte does not want sympathy over squad size

Q&A ex Argentina striker Hernan Crespo on his old club Chelsea

"They've (Chelsea) lost players - Costa seemingly and Nemanja Matic, an important player - and now they've got to fight for the Champions League as well as the Premier League", Lampard said.

"But Chelsea have signed Bakayoko, who made a great season at Monaco, to reinforce our team".

Conte reaffirmed to Sky Sports on Wednesday that Costa's situation at the club remains unchanged, and also insisted that the Blues' transfer business is yet to be completed. They've brought players in but I think he wants more because now they're going to be competing in the Champions League as well'.

Alvaro Morata has told Marca that he has "the personality" to live up to being Chelsea's club-record signing and answer the critics who he says "are already killing me" by scoring "more than 20 goals".

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the clash with Sean Dyche's side, Conte played down his team's prospects of becoming the first club to defend their title since Manchester United in 2008-09.

"Matic knows very well what I think about him".

"I repeat: my only task is to focus on the pitch, what happens on the pitch, during the training session to work with my players". Of course, the battle for the title is always against five or six teams, but Premier League is a very hard championship because you can not predict any result.


Burnley were main favorites for the relegation this time past year, but the Clarets had pretty good first ever season in the Premier League and finished six points above 18th-placed Hull City. The situation is clear.

Asked about what his squad needs before the end of August, Conte said: "I'm the coach of this team. I know twice as many people are paying attention to me".

Nemanja Matic is not exactly a headline grabber and the most exciting player in the Premier League but the Serbian worldwide comes with bags of quality, experience and a winning mentality all of which Chelsea lost having sold him to league rivals Manchester United.

"I knew he wanted me and I talked to him a number of times".

Chelsea and Diego Costa's dispute is no nearer to a resolution as the Blues begin their Premier League title defence in an apparent legal wrangle with the exiled striker.

The Italian said that another of his signings, Antonio Rudiger, "could start" against Burnley in place of the suspended Victor Moses.

"They've been very successful over the past 10 to 15 years, so I think you have to have faith in that".

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