Tag Archives: Antonio Conte

Chelsea signs Everton midfielder Ross Barkley for £15m

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Everton midfielder Ross Barkley signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Chelsea that would cost the defending Premier League champions £15m.

Barkley, 24, leaves Everton after 13 years at Goodison Park and having not played for seven months because of a hamstring injury and had surgery in August. He joined Everton’s academy as an 11-year-old in 2005 and played 150 times in the Premier League, scoring 21 goals as well as securing 22 caps for England.

The player previously turned down a £30m move to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in August despite rejecting a new deal at Everton. With his Goodison contract expiring in the summer, he has now moved for £15m less.

With the Blues, Barkley will wear the number eight shirt at Chelsea — previously assigned to Frank Lampard and Oscar.

“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started. To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea – it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes that Barkley is a “complete player” and hopes the midfielder can fulfil his potential at Stamford Bridge especially with his additional advantage of understanding the English footballing landscape.

“We are talking about a player with great potential,” Conte said. “He is a complete player but, at the same time, he is very young. He is complete because he has it all. He has stamina, he is strong physically and he has good technique. He is fast. He is a modern footballer.”

“An English player understands very well this league because you grow [up] in this league. For Chelsea, also, it is positive to buy English players because we lost important players like John Terry and Frank Lampard.”

Alvaro Morata header edges Chelsea to victory over United

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Alvaro Morata scored his first goal since September for Chelsea to defeat Manchester United by 1-0 and move the Blues to one point behind the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Morata went unnoticed into the space between United’s centre-halves with Chris Smalling drawn towards Tiemoue Bakayoko’s run, to plant his header beyond a static David de Gea.

In comparison, Romelu Lukaku, Morata’s counterpart at United, was subdued and quiet throughout, and did not have a single touch inside the Chelsea area.

Both United and Chelsea were in a struggle for the Belgian in the summer, with United coming out on top with his signature in a £90m deal after supposedly long-standing interest from his former club Chelsea, while Chelsea coach Antonio Conte insisted he had got the man he wanted all along when he completed a £65m move for Morata.

However, it was Morata who will prove himself in this game by leading Chelsea forward with pace and energy and making the game’s decisive contribution with a towering header after being given far too much space by the United defence.

“It’s an important victory,” Conte said after the game. “When you play against Manchester United it’s always a massive game. We know very well this team is very strong. This type of win is important for our confidence. We showed great desire and passion to win this kind of game.”

“We can win or lose but our spirit must be this. Last season our spirit was in every game — we started this season with a lot of problems. We were up and down. This game showed if we want, we can.”

The defeat summed up another miserable week for United coach Jose Mourinho, whose homecoming at Chelsea was ruined for the third time in a game that follows a goalless draw at Liverpool and a loss to Huddersfield Town. The Portuguese, who was Chelsea manager on two different spells, lost 4-0 against his former club in the Premier League and was inflicted 1-0 defeat in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

Indeed, the visitors had only pressured the hosts after Morata scored for Chelsea, with Marcus Rashford coming close with a snapshot and a free-kick, while substitute Marouane Fellaini forced a save from Thibaut Courtois.

Chris Coleman pleased with Antonio Conte response to Ampadu call-up

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Chris Coleman is pleased by Antonio Conte’s positive comments about Ethan Ampadu’s international call-up to play for the Welsh international senior squad.

Coleman believes that the Chelsea manager’s stance, which stands in contrast with the way in which Jurgen Klopp responded to the news that Ben Woodburn had first been named in the Wales squad, which owes much to the fact the Italian understands what it means to play for his country.

Ampadu, 17, had just made his debut for Chelsea last week, but will be named alongside Woodburn in the 23-man Wales squad that take on Georgia and the Republic of Ireland in the final matches of their World Cup qualifying campaign at the start of next month. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

After Ampadu’s previous Wales call-up and prior to the teenager making his first appearance for Chelsea, Conte denied that senior international recognition at such a young age had heaped pressure on the player.

“You must be proud of this,” Conte said. “But, for sure, he has to work a lot to deserve another call-up to the national team. We must be pleased because this player is a Chelsea player.”

Coleman says that he appreciates Conte’s sentiments — which happened to be a very different reaction from Klopp in relation to Woodburn’s promotion to the senior Wales squad six months ago.

The German, who was keen to keep Woodburn out of the spotlight after the teenager scored on his Liverpool debut, expressed his surprise that he had not received a phone call from Coleman before the 17-year-old’s inclusion and also questioned how well the Wales manager knew the forward.

“It helps if you have played international football and understand what it is all about,” Coleman said. “When I read Conte’s comments I felt he put it all really well, how he said it, and it is true. If you are good enough as a young player, then why shouldn’t you be involved?”

“I can see the players don’t belong to us and are not contracted to us and international football is a choice – you either want to do it or you don’t want to do it. But if you have played it, you understand the importance of it and the honour of it.”

Diego Costa completes return move to Atletico Madrid

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has completed his £57m move to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Both Chelsea and the Spanish giants had agreed on terms last week, with the 28-year-old Spanish international having also passed his medical on Monday.

However, he will not feature in the Champions League game between Chelsea and Atletico as he cannot be registered to play for the La Liga side until 1 January, when the club’s transfer window ban comes to an end.

The Brazil-born striker is expected to be at the stadium on Wednesday having attended the weekend league victory against Sevilla, and Blues coach Antonio Conte was asked about his strained relationship with the player. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

While Costa won two Premier League titles and the League Cup with Chelsea, he found himself exiled at Stamford Bridge over the summer after a dispute with a fitness coach which had followed reports of an offer from China that would have been worth £30m a year in salary. Additionally, he was informed via text message by Conte himself that he was not needed in the manager’s plans for this season and he spent much of August in his native Brazil.

“As I said before, I have no problem with Diego Costa,” the Italian said. “I said that we wish, for him, the best for the future. We want to thank him for the last season. But, I repeat, I have no problem with him.”

Meanwhile, Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, who is yet to start in the Premier League this season after recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in June could feature for Chelsea in the game. Hazard came off the bench against Leicester, Arsenal and Stoke this month and Conte is keen for him to exert his influence on the Champions League.

“Last season Eden played a really important season, played very well and he was very important for us in winning the league,” said the Blues manager. “Last season, he showed in every game great talent, to be a really good player, a top player.”

“This competition is very important for him, but I think it’s important for the team. It brings you to another level.”

“I think he (Hazard) has all the possibilities to do this. He’s a really top player. Now he’s totally fit and in contention for Wednesday’s game. I think it’s the right moment.”