Antonio Conte has insisted that he opted to drop Cesc Fabregas for Chelsea’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday purely to give the Spaniard a rest.
The midfielder has earned praise for his recent displays for the Blues in recent games after being dropped to the bench for much of the season.
Fabregas’ lack of game-time earlier on in the campaign has prompted speculation that he could be set to leave Chelsea in search of regular first-team football.
However, Conte has moved to explain his decision to drop the 29-year-old for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Palace.
Speaking to Sky Sports before the game on Saturday, Conte explained: “Cesc, after the injury he played in the last three games and played very well.
“I am pleased for the good form of my players, but when you play three games in seven days it’s very difficult.”
Chelsea finished in 10th place and without a trophy after a season to forget for the Blues.
The west London club moved quickly to appoint Conte as the club’s new manager in the summer following the sacking of Jose Mourinho last December.