Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has conceded he’s been a “disaster” in attempting to convince the Blues’ hierarchy to pursue his transfer targets during his time at the club.
Speaking ahead of his side’s must-win clash with West Brom in the Premier League tonight, the under-fire Conte was pressed on the transfer policy he has long been publicly critical of. The Italian pulled no punches in his response. “I think I’m a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy the players,” the 48-year-old conceded. “I think in this aspect, I can improve a lot. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect. I can learn a lot in that aspect.
“I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good to persuade their clubs to spend money and buy top players.”
Despite spending over £50 million in the January window on Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri, Conte has almost constantly bemoaned his failed attempts at getting the club to part with significant sums of money on his preferred targets; Alex Sandro, Antonio Candreva, Fernando Llorente and Virgil van Dijk were all linked with the West London side last summer but all four moves ultimately failed to materialise.
When questioned on whether he had been “too successful” in improving existing players in his squad and therefore discouraging the Chelsea board from wanting to sign marquee stars, Conte admitted: “You are not the first person to suggest this. Not the first person to tell me this.”
A terrible run of form at the start of 2018 has led to tensions between the Italian and Blues owner Roman Abramovich threatening to boil over. With the Blues’ hopes of defending their Premier League title already over, it has widely been expected that Conte will part company with the side come the summer. Indeed, many believe that only a potential Champions League triumph could save the former Juventus manager’s position.
Header image by Clément Bucco-Lechat [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons