Antonio Conte meets Chelsea players at Cobham training complex
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Huge: Antonio Conte meets Chelsea players at Cobham training complex

Chelsea players were surprised to see Conte

Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte was introduced to his new boys on Tuesday and will reportedly start a series of individual meetings with those who want to leave this summer.

Players were really surprised when the Italian, who takes charge after Euro 2016, arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham training complex along with technical director Michael Emenalo.

The message was clear, he wants to know who is interested in leaving ahead of a potential summer rebuild, and will hold meetings with Eden Hazard, John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa in the coming weeks.

Hazard, who is still recovering from a hip injury, is not sure about his future at Stamford Bridge with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid monitoring recent developments.

Matic has grown frustrated throughout the campaign and is ready to leave while Atletico Madrid have made it clear they would like to take Diego Costa back to Spain.

Meanwhile captain John Terry wants to stay if the club hierarchy agrees but that will depend on whether Antonio Conte thinks he still has a role to play at the age of 35.

There are also some question marks over goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois though last week he said he was not seeking a move away.

Some of the Chelsea staff considered it really surprising that Conte turned up after training despite Guus Hiddink still working with the players ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea.

However, Antonio Conte is keen to get an early picture in his mind of what he will face prior to concentrating his efforts on guiding Italy at Euro 2016.

He wants to bring in Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, one of his primary targets, to Stamford Bridge.

Interestingly Conte flew to England on a day when prosecutors in his match-fixing trial, relating to his time as Siena manager, claimed a six-month suspended sentence and a £6,000 fine if he is found guilty of sporting fraud.

The Italian manager has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with Chelsea at £6.5million a season.

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