David Luiz – Antonio Conte has ‘infected’ us, Chelsea to launch £16m bid for international defender: Conte is keen on deal

David Luiz is driven to help Chelsea win the title by his failure to do so during his first spell at the club.

Brazilian defender Luiz first joined the Blues in 2011, leaving for Paris Saint-Germain three years later. In that time, Chelsea lifted the European Cup, FA Cup and Europa League trophy, but finished sixth and third twice in the top flight.

Luiz had left by the time Jose Mourinho restored the club to the top two years ago. But he believes the team leading the race under new boss Antonio Conte has the potential to finally end his wait.

The 29-year-old said: “I love this club and I saw that if I came back it was because there was a story to continue.

“I did not get the Premier League on my first pass and this is a goal I have now — to help in what I can to win this championship. Conte has been great in that regard.”

Chelsea’s bid to rack up a record 14 games on the spin was ended at Spurs last week but they remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

They also bounced back with Sunday’s 4-1 win over Peterborough in the FA Cup.

He said of the former Juventus and Italy coach: “He’s one of the best technicians I’ve ever worked with.

“He knows very well the characteristics of each player and we follow exactly what he guides us to do on the pitch.

“Conte is a coach who loves what he does and it infects all of us who love football. Every training and every game is a manifestation of how winning and competing is important to him, so for us, the motivation to keep focus is always high.

“We soon understand the philosophy and system that Conte likes to play. He made us understand even more that the collective dedication to a system is fundamental for the individualities to stand out.

“We know how to play with and without the ball, both in attack and defence.

If we are without the ball, everyone knows how to defend and with it, each one knows his role well to help the attack.”

Loftus-Cheek: There are no egos at Chelsea

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed the Chelsea players are happy to play wherever Antonio Conte tells them to because the team doesn’t have any egos.

Loftus-Cheek started his third game of the season in Chelsea’s FA Cup third-round clash at home to Peterborough United on Sunday, with the 20-year-old playing on the left-hand side of a front three.

Conte made other changes to his starting line-up in the game, using Pedro as a left wing-back, Branislav Ivanovic as a right wing-back, Nathaniel Chalobah in central midfield next to Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi as the main striker.

The move paid off with Chelsea winning the tie 4-1, which Loftus-Cheek admits was down to the players’ willingness to embrace new roles on the pitch.

When asked about Conte, Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea’s official website: “He always helps me in training and playing different positions is only going to help my knowledge of the game. I’m getting my development in training with him.

“In all positions we can play well and we’re versatile. We saw Pedro play as a wing-back on Sunday and there are no egos, wherever we’re asked to play we’ll do that to the best of our ability.”

When then asked about his individual performance against Peterborough, which saw Loftus-Cheek set up Batshuayi for Chelsea’s second goal, he said: “I thought I did quite well and I really enjoyed being out on the pitch.

“When the cup games come around the players who haven’t played much usually get a chance, so it was great for me to get an opportunity.

“We had quite a lot of chances and we didn’t take all of them, I missed one as well but that happens. We got a few goals so we can’t be disappointed and we move on to the next round.”

Chelsea to launch £16m bid for international defender: Antonio Conte is keen on deal

CHELSEA are preparing a £16million bid to sign Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer.

That is according to Italian publication Gazetta dello Sport, who claim Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has identified the 27-year-old as a January target.

It is claimed Conte is keen to bring Kjaer to Stamford Bridge as he is keen to bolster his defensive ranks in a bid to maintain the Blues’ Premier League title push.

Conte is said to view the Denmark international as the perfect player to fit into his 3-4-3 system, which has helped propel Chelsea to the top of the league.

But Fenerbahce are likely to play hardball over a transfer as they are reluctant to lose their first-choice centre back.

However, they could be persuaded to sell their star man if a bid of over £15m is lodged by the Blues.

Kjaer has scored three goals for Fenerbahce this season and is contracted to the club until June 2019.

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