Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted the decision to sell Nemanja Matic was against his wishes.
Matic was sold to Manchester United earlier this summer for a reported £40million fee. He has again teamed up with manager Jose Mourinho as they attempt to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title.
The sale of Matic, along with the loss of Nathan Chabolah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, has left Chelsea extremely light in the centre of midfield leaving many pundits and fans alike to to question the decision. Most recently, Paul Scholes revealed his ‘surprise’ towards the transfer in The Sun.
Now though it appears that Conte was not responsible for the decision. He described losing the Serbian as a “great loss” and a decision he must “accept”.
“Matic knows very well what I think about him,” told Sky Sports at today’s Premier League launch. “The importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team, but sometimes you must accept this crazy transfer market.
“And sometimes you must accept different decisions. But he is a great loss for us.”
It is no secret that Conte needs and wants more players to work with at Chelsea. This transfer market the champions have brought in Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata and Roma defender Antonio Rudiger to help defend their crown.
Conte is not disillusioned about the cut-throat nature of the Premier League. He does not want to suffer the same fate of managers Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri – sacked months after their title-winning seasons.
“It won’t be easy. It’s a great challenge for us to try and retain the title, but we are working hard,” he added.
The silver lining for Conte this transfer window appears to be beating Manchester United to the signing of Morata. The Italian has spoken very openly and optimistically about club-record signing Morata.
“Alvaro is a really good player, he’s still young despite having a lot of experience,” he said.
“He needs to play regularly, he’s a player I trust a lot. I think he has good prospects for Chelsea – for now and the future.
“Will he start this weekend? He’s working very well and starting to understand or idea of football.”