Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said Friday that he holds talks “every day” with club bosses about transfer targets as the Premier League champions race to further bolster their squad.
The Italian is set to give big-money signing Alvaro Morata his first Chelsea start against Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly in Singapore on Saturday and has also splashed out this summer on the defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.
But with most of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals buying big in the close season, Conte is intent on adding to a squad that this season will also need to cope with Champions League football.
The London side have been linked in British media with England international midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal and Everton’s wantaway Ross Barkley.
“With the club we speak every day about the way to strengthen this team and the squad,” said Conte, talking in Singapore.
“The club knows very well which is my idea and where are the positions to strengthen and if this is possible, it is ok. If not, we continue this way.”
Conte said he plans to play his best side against Inter, with Morata — signed last week from Real Madrid in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92m) — likely to spearhead the attack from the start.
Morata came on as a second-half substitute against German champions Bayern Munich in a friendly on Tuesday in Singapore and supplied an assist in a 3-2 defeat.
With Arsenal looming in the Community Shield on August 6 at Wembley, Conte said: “It is very important to bring my players in a good fitness as soon as possible. For this reason, we play with the best starting 11 (against Inter).”Punch