Tuesday 11 December 2018

Conte admits to being 'disaster' in transfer market

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: PA
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: PA

Matt Law

Antonio Conte has claimed Chelsea will not find a manager who is better at improving players, but admitted he is a "disaster" at persuading clubs to sign his transfer targets.

Conte has also provided Luis Enrique with a glowing reference, even though the former Barcelona manager has been tipped to replace him at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea insist they have not discussed sacking Conte and have not held talks with any potential successors.

Despite the fact they are looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Bournemouth and Watford against West Brom tonight, Conte boasts the joint highest win percentage of any manager in Premier League history.

Asked if anyone could do a better job than him, Conte replied: "I don't know. Usually in my experience, I think I reached the best results possible with the players I have to work with.

"I think I'm the type of coach who, if I have a player who is six, I bring him to an eight. If I have a player who is eight, I take him to 10.

"My task is to try and improve every single player, in every aspect. For this, I'm very good."

Conte has fought battles with the Chelsea board in each of the last two transfer windows and has been left disappointed by the failure to sign big-name targets such as Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Sandro and Virgil van Dijk.

Laughing, Conte added: "I think I'm a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy the players. I think I can improve a lot. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect.

"I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good to persuade their clubs to spend money and buy top players."

When it was put to Conte that maybe he should stop improving the players he already has, he said: "You are not the first person to suggest this."

Enrique is the favourite to replace Conte at the end of the season and the Spaniard is known to be keen on resuming his managerial career in the Premier League.

But Conte holds no ill-will towards him and believes he has proved his credentials at Barcelona and Roma.

"When I was the coach of Juventus, he was Roma's coach," said Conte.

"I have great admiration for Luis Enrique and he is a fantastic coach. I can speak about him very well, as a person and a coach."

On the back of just two wins in 10 games, Conte has faced accusations that his players have become bored of his tough training regime.

However, the 48-year-old remains unapologetic for his regimented approach.

"I think that, usually when you work, you don't smile. Especially if you work hard," he said. "But, at the same time, you understand that only through work can you reach a fantastic target like last season.

"When you play every three days, it's impossible to work on the physical aspects. This season, we are not working on this aspect."

©The Daily Telegraph

  • Chelsea v West Brom, Sky Sports, 8.0

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