Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has refused to guarantee Cesc Fabregas will not be sold in the January transfer window.
The Spaniard has started just once in the last two-and-a-half months and was dropped back down to the bench for Sunday’s 1-0 win against West Brom.
Since switching to a 3-4-3 formation, Fabregas has made just one appearance under Conte and Serie A giants Roma are the latest to be linked with a move for the 29-year-old.
Conte was quizzed on Fabregas’ future during today’s press conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Sunderland and the Italian refused to confirm Fabregas would be at Stamford Bridge beyond January.
‘In football, my experience is it’s very difficult to guarantee’ said Conte.
‘Cesc is an important player, he played a key game vs Man City and in the last game he came on and did very well.’
Conte has also hailed defender Cesar Azpilicueta after he signed a new deal with the club.
The 27-year-old has agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract which will keep him at Chelsea until 2020.
And the Spaniard could make his 200th appearance for the club against Sunderland tomorrow night.
Azpilicueta has developed into one of the Premier League’s most consistent and reliable defenders.
And Conte is delighted to have kept the Spain international.
He said: “I’m pleased with his work-rate, commitment and ability to play different positions.
“He’s a really good player.
“Azpi is a really good player, his evolution is very high.
“He can play in different roles, it was a good deal for the club.”