Antonio Conte has declared the Chinese Super League ‘dangerous’ for clubs wanting to hang on to their stars.
The Chelsea boss opened up on the imminent £60 million sale of midfielder Oscar to the Chinese Super League after the player claimed he is ’90 per cent sure’ he is leaving in January.
Oscar will earn a reported £300,000 per-week minimum making him one of the highest paid football earners on the planet.
Conte reckons that could be dangerous for Chelsea in keeping their finest, but also pointed out Oscar is leaving the best and most competitive league in the world.
“The Chinese market is dangerous for all teams in the world – not just Chelsea,” he said.
“But you must be proud, honoured, to play in this (Premier) League – it’s the best in the world.
“It’s difficult, to take the best decision (on sales).
‘I always talk with the board and explain my thoughts – and try to make the best decision.”
The manager faces a midday derby at Crystal Palace tomorrow only too aware it’s Chelsea’s third game in six days.
He revealed the side only got back from the 1-0 midweek win against Sunderland at 4am, Thursday, and hinted at a spot of rotation to freshen the side.
However, he does have Eden Hazard at his disposal again following injury.
“He’s fit and he trained with us this week,” Conte added.
“It’s not easy to play three games in six days. We were back here at 4am Thursday, so it’s important to decide the starting XI this evening and see every detail and take best decision.”
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Conte believes the pressure is all Chelsea’s – because the likes of Palace have nothing to lose.
“We have a great motivation to take three points, and we also know tomorrow is another derby against a side not in a good position, but one that will be tough,” he said.
“No team is unbeatable. The other team has nothing to lose and this is great motivation (for them).
“For me, I think it’s a great surprise (to be clear at the top), that when you arrive after 10th place (last season) and change manager with new ideas of football – it’s not easy.”
On John Terry he said: “John after his first injury recovered very well.
“If you remember he played the last 15 minutes against Everton and then he had another bad injury.
“Now he’s trying to recover.
“John is always very close to the team and he comes with us when we go to play at home and away.
“He’s a really important player for Chelsea, for me and for his team-mates.”
He added: “I don’t know the right time for him to recover from his injury but he’s trying to recover.”