Eden Hazard's call-up by Belgium surprises Chelsea boss Antonio Conte
Last Updated: 25/08/17 9:26pm
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Conte admits he was surprised by Eden Hazard's call-up for Belgium.
The 26-year-old forward recently returned to training at Cobham after fracturing his ankle on international duty with Belgium in June.
Hazard played 74 minutes for Chelsea's U23 side against Everton on Friday night, but Conte was surprised to see his player included in the Belgium squad for the games against Gibraltar and Greece.
"I found out the news 20 minutes ago and I'm a bit surprised by this decision," he said. "I was a coach with the Italy team and I respect the decision of the other coach."
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez justified the call-up later on Friday, outlining the importance of having his captain in the squad for the World Cup Qualifiers against Gibraltar on August 31 and Greece on September 3.
Martinez explained: "The selection first and foremost is to see how he is. He's already been training with a group but that doesn't mean he's fully fit to play the games.
"We'll make that decision on Monday. It's important that our captain is part of the squad.
"We have a very good relationship with Chelsea and we are very open and honest. This is an important period of our qualification."
Conte, meanwhile, admitted he would be happy if the club were to call time on their transfer business in the current window.
The club have signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid but Diego Costa remains absent in Brazil and Loic Remy has emerged as a transfer target for Italian side Cagliari.
But while Conte confirmed Chelsea remain in pursuit of several new players, he would be content with his current group should no new additions be made before the transfer window closes.
"For me it is very important to continue to work with my players to improve on the pitch," he said.
"The club is trying to strengthen our team and they are working very hard to do this. We have to continue to work.
"If we stay with these players then I'm very happy. I don't like to talk about players at other teams, I think it is disrespectful to my players and to the team of the other player."