The January transfer window has just opened and already Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is complaining, saying that he is ‘rarely given the players I ask for’.
Conte has handed a January wishlist to Chelsea’s board having repeatedly stressed how short on numbers his squad is, but he believes that progress on his targets is going too slow.
Chelsea have been unable to prise left back Alex Sandro from Juventus, while Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal is another player Conte would love to sign.
Now in his fourth transfer window at Stamford Bridge, Conte has made his dissatisfaction over the situation clear, saying he is working under an ‘austerity programme’.
The former Juventus boss told Sky Sport Italia:
‘I do not aim high with my requests, especially as in my history I’ve rarely been given the players I asked for.
‘I always ended up at clubs who were running an austerity programme.
‘I just try to do my work. If someone arrives, good; if they don’t, then that’s fine too. I have to continue my work, either way.’
Earlier this week Conte said that he views his role at Chelsea as a ‘coach’, rather than a ‘manager’, with a reduced influence in the transfer market.
‘I give my opinion to the club, I try to tell what are the roles we can improve — including on the numerical aspect because in some roles we don’t have a couple of players or there is a young player that is not ready to play with the first team,’ Conte said.
‘If the club ask me some names I try to do this but then it’s the club, it’s the club that decides the name, the investment, which is the best player for the team.’
Asked about the prospect of requesting moves for Vidal and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, he added: ‘You are flying very up… We must stay calm.
‘I don’t like to speak about other players of other teams but you are talking about two big and strong players, top players for their roles. Vidal is one of the best in the world and Sanchez is the same.’
Conte can complain about not being involved in the buying and selling of players at Chelsea, that is not part of his job description. But the claim that Chelsea are running “an austerity programme” is simply not true.
Since Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have spent £314m on new players.
CONTE’S SIGNINGS AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
- Michy Batshuayi (Marseille), £33m
- N’Golo Kante (Leicester) £30m
- David Luiz (PSG) £32m
- Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina) £23m
- Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb) Undisclosed
- Willy Caballero (Man City) Free
- Antonio Rudiger (Roma) £31m
- Tiemoue Bakayoko (Monaco) £40m
- Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) £70m
- Davide Zappacosta (Torino) £25m
- Danny Drinkwater (Leicester) £30m