English Premiership

Conte: Matic is not for sale

2016-07-27 11:27
Chelsea's Nemanja Matic, left, vies for the ball with Bournemouth's Joshua King (AP)

Cape Town - Nemanja Matic looks set to stay at Chelsea this season with manager Antonio Conte insisting he is "an important player for me".

After an outstanding 2014/15 campaign, the midfielder was one of several players who struggled last campaign as the Blues had a disastrous season.

He has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge with reports suggesting Juventus are lining him up as a replacement for Paul Pogba, who is believed to be on his way to way to Manchester United.

However, Conte insists the 27-year-old is not for sale.

"He is not for sale and I know with work he can become a fantastic midfielder, one of the best in the world," he told The Telegraph.

"He is a very important player for me, he is very important in my idea of football. He knows this and I’m delighted by his attitude and behaviour and I see in him commitment."

The acquisition of N'Golo Kante from Leicester City means Chelsea are now well stocked in midfield.

"N'Golo, Nemanja, Cesc [Fabregas], Oscar, [Nathaniel] Chalobah and [John Obi] Mikel, who is in the Olympics, it is not easy to choose. I want to have this problem," Conte told Sky Sports.

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