Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte played down recent speculation linking Eden Hazard with a sensational £90million move to Manchester United.
Some news outlets have suggested United boss Jose Mourinho could be set to raid his former club for the Belgium star, who has reportedly turned down the offer of a new deal at Stamford Bridge.
With the January transfer window fast approaching, Conte was quick to brush off such conjecture as part of the traditional media storm that surrounds the mid-season market.
As well as being questioned on the subject of Hazard, Conte was asked about the futures of David Luiz and Kenedy – supposed targets for Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively.
“A difficult period is starting for every club and coach because there are a lot of rumours, some are true and some are wrong,” he told a media conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against an Everton side resurgent under Sam Allardyce.
“We must be ready to face this situation. The best way for me is don’t read [the reports] and only chat with the club and then try to improve our squad if this is possible.
“We must be ready to face these rumours but at the same time focus to play and go game by game because we have to play every three days and it’s not right for these rumours to disturb us.
Conte says there are a lot of rumours at this time of year and he prefers not to pay attention to them. He says his players must be focused on the football during this busy period.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 21, 2017
“There are a lot of rumours and we have to live with these. For sure my players are very focused on this period. We don’t listen to these rumours, because a lot of these are not true.”
On Chelsea potentially adding to their squad in January, Conte was playing his cards similarly close to his chest.
“I prefer to talk with the club, to try and find the best solution together,” he said. “If there is the possibility to improve the squad I think it will be a good choice.
“I’m enjoying being with these players and I’m ready to continue to play with all these players. At the same time if there is the possibility to improve our squad I think the club will try to do this.”