Antonio Conte has issued an update on Chelsea’s transfer business. The Blues boss was quizzed by reporters this morning ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Liverpool. He was asked about the futures of Branislav Ivanovic and Asmir Begovic.
Ivanovic is in talks with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg while Begovic is wanted by Bournemouth. On the Serb right-back, Conte said: “I know he’s talking to other clubs but I don’t know (about a decision).
“It’s important to respect the decision of the player, above all if he’s a legend of the club. I have great respect.”
Ivanovic is also a target for West Brom. The Baggies are in fine form in the Premier League and the addition of the Serbian right-back would appear – at least on paper – a substantial boost to their side.
After all, the veteran has won the Champions League, two Premier League titles and three FA Cups since his move to west London in 2008. You’d be hard pressed to argue that he is anything but a club legend.
The 32-year-old has racked up no less than 376 appearances in blue and, in spite of his position, has amassed an admirable 34 goals.
Furthermore, Ivanovic left a departing present for the fans when he found the net against Brentford this weekend. His near-post finish from the bench will not only have proven a fitting end at Chelsea but a promising indicator for Tony Pulis.
With the right-back having started just eight times this season, the Baggies’ raid looks to be a confident one.
When pressed on Begovic, Conte added: “Until now I haven’t any news about Asmir. Tomorrow we’ll see the situation. Asmir wants to play.
“If I can help my player be happy, I try to do this. But not to jeopardise the team.”
That hasn’t stopped the ex-Stoke City man from amassing 30 appearances though and he remains a solid back up. His impending departure, reportedly to Bournemouth, will prove nothing more than an inconvenience for Chelsea, however.
Conte also commented on the end of the window coinciding with a busy night of games. Chelsea tackle Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow night – so striking any last-minute transfer could prove tricky.
“It’s very strange,” Conte said.
The Blues are flying in every sense of the word and a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham is the miniscule and
sole blot on their copybook. Moreover, this superb form has come amid the sale of Oscar and a quite astonishing episode involving Diego Costa.
Antonio Conte might be seeing even further changes to his squad before the transfer window ends though. Amid their current purple patch, it’s still not clear whether the club are willing to offload two of the side’s veterans.