New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not happy at the club’s lack of activity in the summer transfer marketing and says that the inability to strengthen the Blues squad before the transfer window closes will have a negative impact on how well the team does this summer.
Chelsea has brought in big-money signings in the shape of midfielder N’Golo Kante and forward Michy Batshuayi this summer but has yet to add the defensive reinforcements that Conte desperately needs.
The Blues have long been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly but have been unable to lure him away from Napoli, while AC Milan say they have knocked back a bid for Alessio Romagnoli.
Conte admits his current squad is not deep enough and with Wednesday’s transfer deadline looming the Italian knows time is running out.
“I must be honest, I think we’ll have a problem to reach our targets,” he said.
“I hope, through this transfer market, to improve the squad but we understand our targets are very difficult to reach.
“I think most important thing is to work to improve the squad and improve your players. You know that when you start the season it is already very tough.
“It’s important to have many players to face these situations, but this market is very crazy and we are seeing that it’s very difficult to reach our targets.
“I’ve been working with these players for only 40 days and we know we can improve a lot, but we also it’s important to have the right number of players in the squad to face all the other teams.
“We know Chelsea is a great team and a great team must fight to the end for the title. But also we know last season the players were 10th. Not fourth, fifth or sixth, 10th! Don’t forget this.”
Conte, who is convinced he can sell his vision at Chelsea to prospective new players despite the lack of European football this season, has regularly referred to the market as “crazy”.
“It’s strange that when you want to buy a player, the other teams don’t want to sell player,” said the Italian. “Something is changing compared to last season. Not just for Chelsea, but all the teams. Teams of a ‘medium-level’ now prefer to keep their players and not sell. That’s good news for the English league because it makes it even tougher, but not good news for the clubs who want to buy players.
“Something is changing. Not only for English teams or Spanish teams, but teams all over the world. Many clubs who are financially strong prefer to keep their players, to fight to stay in the league. To fight. We didn’t ‘refuse to spend money’ on the right targets. The situation is that those targets are not available to buy or spend the money on.
“I told [the board] I’d prefer to spend a lot of money on the right, great player, not a medium player. That’s a different situation. It’s important to be clear on that. So this market is very crazy and, now, we are seeing that it’s very difficult to reach our targets.
“But you have to understand that, in England now, every team has money. So you have to solve the problem with hard work. Sometimes you could solve the problem with money. Now you have to solve the problem with work. But that’s fine. I have no problem. Work is the bread and butter.”