Antonio Conte on Ross Barkley, Alexis Sanchez, Hazard, Courtois contract, Allegri & more

Ross Barkley, when will he be ready?

“Yeah I think I have a more clear idea now. We must be satisfied for his physical condition. He is working very hard in these days and I think maybe the next game against Norwich he could be in available and in contention. I hope. If he continues in this way then why not. This guy is not ready 100% but he can start to help us for the rest of the season.

More transfer business?

“I don’t know. As I said before, the club knows very well which is my opinion and this is the best way to speak with the club, to give my opinion if we need the players to improve the numbers of the squad. Then the club has to decide and the final decision is with the club, not from me.”

What did you say to Sanchez in the tunnel?

“I said hello. He is a great player, he knows very well that in my season at Juventus we tried to buy him from Udinese but he decided to go Barcelona. He knows very well my admiration for him. So it was a good chance to say hello to him.”

Are we reading too much into it?

“There was no other situation or other conversation. I repeat for sure I have great admiration for top players and he is one of them. I stop.

Where will he go?

“I don’t know. You will have to ask him which is his choice, or maybe ask Arsenal. They have to decide his future until June. If they want to sell him. For sure his future will be in a great club.”

Will Baba Rahman go to Schalke?

“Baba is recovering from a bad injury and I hadn’t the possibility to see him in training with us, only once or twice but he wasn’t ready to have a full training session with us. Now he is recovering.

“It could be an interesting option for the player to try to recover with them. He is now recovering, he is not ready in this moment to play. Otherwise he would stay with us in my squad.”

Going second in the table

“I must be honest tomorrow we have to face the worst team for us in this moment. Leicester are a really good team, a strong team in great form and tomorrow it will be very difficult for us to win the game. We have to pay great attention. Maybe Leicester are the worst team to face in this moment for us.”

Allegri reports

“Everything is possible. I have another year of contract at this club, but as you know in football everything in possible. In one moment you stay here, another you stay in a different place. One person can replace you in your job. Football is this, our job is very difficult because as you know very well everything can change a few times.

“From the start of the season you are repeating the same question. At one point I have to say if you want to sack me it is okay. As I said before I am always telling the same things. I said that for this club it is normal.

“For the manager of this club it is normal to have this type of situation.

“If you won the league last season and reach the final of the FA Cup, this is the history of this club for the manager.

“I have a lot of experience to deal with this type of situation. There is something strange that after the first game we lost against Burnley the press pushed quickly to sack me for another coach.

“In other clubs this doesn’t happen. You must have great experience, you must trust in your work. I trust in my work and what we are doing in these two seasons. In football, anything can happen and you must be ready. Never give up.”

Car accident

“It was an accident, an incredible accident. I think Steve [Atkins, director of communications] was more lucky than me. His car was beside my car.

“I was eating, having my lunch when it happened and the wind brought a glass table on my car. For sure in that moment if there is a person close to my car I don’t know what would happen. The damage, this is the last thing.”

Are you happy at Chelsea?

“I am happy and enjoying my period here. It wasn’t easy because it was not simple for me as it was my first experience in another country. For sure I am enjoying my experience, I am enjoying to stay in England and working with my players.”

Want to stay longer than next season?

“For sure I have another year of contract and in this case I think the club has to decide to send me away. I think we have started our work, a big work here with the players and the club.

“When you start the work, you need time to improve your work and create solid basis.

“Football now is very difficult if you can predict if you stay for many years in one club. England is changing this equation. Before managers were in charge for many years, but now in England it is habit to sack the manager early.

No I am not surprised, because we are not talking about my work, we are talking about if you stay in Chelsea and the history of Chelsea speaks very clear. I think for this reason, it is normal the press are used to speaking a lot about Chelsea and the manager of Chelsea, it doesn’t change the situation and I don’t ask the situation. I continue to work and be professional and have good result and to continue my idea.”

Courtois and Hazard contract, close?

“This is not my business. This is a club business.”

Should other top clubs stop Man City from buying Alexis Sanchez

“No. If Manchester City want him, then they buy him. They don’t have concerns about money and this investment, and it is a good investment. He is a top player and in a moment you don’t have to buy him for a money that is high. Around €20m, if you go to buy him with a normal price it is 80 or 90 million. It is a great chance for a club to invest in him.”

Should Chelsea be one of those clubs

“This is only my opinion. You ask if there are other clubs to stop this transfer. I think no, in the past Manchester City showed if they want to take a player they buy this player.”

Will you watch Jose Mourinho’s press conference?

“No I’m not really interested in this.”

Statement on Rix and Williams racism allegations

A club spokesman said: “I can’t answer specifically to the story mentioned, but what I can say is that we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously. We are absolutely determined to do the right thing, to fully support those effected and the investigation by the authorities.”

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