Despite being typically coy over Chelsea’s recruitment plans in recent weeks, manager Antonio Conte has let slip his desire to strengthen the Blues’ squad in the January transfer window.

In a press conference, the Italian stuck to his now-standard line of stating that, “I think about this topic [player recruitment], I prefer to talk with the club and try to find the best solution together for the team,” but did admit that bringing in a number of new players would be a “good choice” for Chelsea.

The 48-year-old added: “But, at the same time, I’m enjoying working with these players. At this moment, I’m ready to continue to play with all these players. They are showing me great commitment, great behaviour, and I’m very happy to work with these players. At the same time, if there is the possibility to improve our squad, I think the club will try to do this.”

Conte’s comments come amidst a raft of fresh rumours linking various Blues players with moves elsewhere, not least key men David Luiz and Eden Hazard. The Italian seemed unfazed when pressed on such reports, urging his players to remain focused on the hectic festive period they find themselves currently embroiled in: “A difficult period is starting, especially for every club, for every coach. In this period there are a lot of rumours. Some rumours are true. Some rumours are wrong.

“My players are very clever to be focused on this period: to play, to go game by game, not listen to these rumours. Also because a lot of them are not true.”

Indeed, after barely time to rest following their Carabao Cup victory over Bournemouth, next up for Chelsea is a trip to Everton tomorrow lunchtime; Alvaro Morata is set to miss out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season earlier in the week.

Header image by Clément Bucco-Lechat [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons