Antonio Conte is probably not a man you want to cross. Time and again he’s shown his fiery persona on the sidelines during games and we’re willing to bet he’s not much different behind closed doors.
So when a player upsets him they can be sure they’re in for some real rough treatment. However, luckily for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, he’s probably gotten off lightly in that regard as Conte went to the press instead.
The Spanish international recently spoke about teammate Eden Hazard, and though he was signing the Belgian’s praises, he explained what he had to do in order to reach the same level as the Barcelona maestro.
“I’ve told him many, many times, he needs to be selfish sometimes and have that killer instinct to score more goals and then he will be whatever he wants to be,” Fabregas said.
“I’ve played with many players and sometimes when we have a counter attack and it’s two against two and he passes the ball, I tell him: ‘You have the capability to score by yourself. Do it.’”
Pretty harmless, right? Fabregas does have a point, but it seems his idea of football is far at odds with what Conte considers to be important to a player, or more importantly, to a team.
“For me, it’s sad when I listen to this: one player must be more selfish to reach the top level? This is not my ideal of football,” the former Juventus boss replied.
Conte didn’t so much reply with anger rather than disappointment, and doing so in public would suggest that the pair doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to matters on the pitch.
But what could that mean for Fabregas?
A move away from Stamford Bridge had been tentatively mooted for the ex-Arsenal star, and something like this could be a hint into what the future will hold for him.
His game time since Conte arrived hasn’t been great and if the two of them aren’t on the same wavelength then Conte may decide to cash in on him now while he still can to fund a move for someone who is a little more attuned to what he wants.
Certainly, should Fabregas be made available, there would be no shortage of potential suitors for his signature.
At various times when he has been introduced from the bench this season he has proved to be capable of changing games for his side, and would still make a quality addition for several teams in the top flight.