Hard season in store, says Conte

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is "very happy" at Chelsea and the club have no plans to sell their star man to Barcelona, according to manager Antonio Conte. "He has had a lot of time to build his squad, and he's the right choice for them".

"For sure I don't understand why the lawyer gets involved".

"It's very important to try to improve our squad, we have a small squad", Conte told reporters on Friday.

Conte, whose side begin their Premier League title defence against Burnley on August 12, wants Chelsea to start the season with victory over Arsenal.

The Blues have also signed Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, AS Roma defender Antonio Rudiger and AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer. "I'm sure they want to improve and work harder than last season".

"There are many reasons which suggest to me that next season will be very tough, the most hard of my career, I have this perception", Conte said.

"For me it will be the most hard season of my career. We hope in the future to improve this situation".

Inter Milan Sporting Director Piero Ausilio reveals Ivan Perisic's contract renewal talks
Jose Mourinho targeted Perisic, 28, at the start of the summer with the two clubs playing hardball over a fee since . Perisic has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League giants United, though a deal is yet to materialise.

Asked why they hadn't made more signings by now, Conte said: "I don't know. (But) we have to wait for the best moment, the best solution".

And, with the extra burden of a Champions League campaign on their hands, Conte is adamant he does not have enough resource in his squad.

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects Alexis Sanchez to "respect" his decision not to allow the Chilean forward to leave the club.

"I think we were lucky and, also, very good".

The Mirror report he said: "I think that Kenedy last season didn't play before he went on loan and played 20 minutes, when he went back with Chelsea he played only one game in the Carling Cup".

BBC Sport reported the Red Devils paid £40 million to sign Matic on a three-year contract, a fee that, in today's market, could prove to be of extreme worth if it opens up Mourinho's tactical possibilities in midfield.

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