Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic not for sale, says Antonio Conte
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 27/07/16 7:32am
Antonio Conte says Chelsea have no intention of selling Nemanja Matic this summer, insisting the midfielder is very much part of his plans for the new season.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Serie A champions Juventus in the national press following the £32m arrival of N'Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge.
Matic, who has three years remaining on his current contract, has already expressed his desire to remain at Chelsea and Conte expects the Serbia international to play an "important" role for him.
"Matic is an important player for me, a very important player," the Chelsea head coach said. "In my idea of football he is an important player and he knows this.
"N'Golo, Nemanja, Cesc [Fabregas], Oscar, [Nathaniel] Chalobah and [John Obi] Mikel, who is in the Olympics, it is not easy to choose. I want to have this problem."
Chelsea are currently preparing for the new season in the United States and face Premier League rivals Liverpool in a pre-season friendly on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in California.
Conte also expressed his desire to create a good team spirit as Chelsea look to build a title challenge and improve on last season's 10th place finish in the Premier League.
"In these two days we worked a lot, but we want to play a good game against Liverpool and I want to see improvement of my players," Conte added.
"When you have a bad season like last season for Chelsea I think the blame is a bit with all.
"For this reason it's important to create a good spirit and stay together, both if we win or lose."