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Monday 24 July 2017

New Chelsea boss Conte to take aim at club's Brazilian clique

Antonio Conte has no plans to allow Willian to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Photo: Harry Engels/Getty Images
Antonio Conte has no plans to allow Willian to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Photo: Harry Engels/Getty Images

Independent.ie News Desk

Antonio Conte will attempt to break up the Brazilian clique in Chelsea's squad, but the Italian has no plans to allow Willian to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The incoming head coach has been made aware that the heavy Brazilian influence in the Chelsea dressing-room is one of the issues that he needs to address.

Oscar is the Brazilian most likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, with Juventus and Chinese Super League clubs interested in signing the 24-year-old who fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink.

Alexandre Pato's barely noticeable loan is unlikely to be extended, while doubts persist over the future of Brazilian-born Diego Costa, who is wanted by his former club Atletico Madrid.

However, the club are determined to keep Willian despite the 27-year-old being frustrated that he is yet to be awarded a new contract. He currently earns around £85,000 a week - less than half than top earner Eden Hazard - and wants a huge pay rise as reward for his good form.

Whoever comes and goes, Conte knows he must change the culture at Stamford Bridge and bring out the best in the Brazilians who start next season at the club.

Oscar and Costa were involved in a furious training ground bust-up in January, but, generally, Chelsea's large Portuguese-speaking contingent share a tight bond that has not always benefited the entire group.

Work-obsessed Conte has already told his new squad in group and individual meetings that he will tolerate nothing less than 100 per cent commitment and effort.

Sources close to Conte believe some of Chelsea's Brazilian contingent are in for a shock under their new head coach with his strict rules over training, diet, time-keeping and general behaviour.

Irish Independent

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