Cape Town - Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has insisted that midfielder Cesc Fabregas is still in his plans and will not be sold.
Reports had suggested that the Spaniard could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge with Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan both linked with a move for the World Cup winner.
Fabregas has only played 26 minutes in two appearances in the Premier League so far this campaign and had to take to social media earlier in the summer to deny rumours of a rift between himself and Conte.
The Italian, however, says "fantastic" Fabregas remains part of his plans going forward after impressing him in training.
“Cesc is in my plans and in Chelsea’s plans. We all know Cesc is a fantastic player,” said Conte ahead of their crucial match with Liverpool on Friday.
“I see him in every training session with great work rate. If he continues in this way, it’ll be very difficult for me to choose my midfield.
“But I want this from a player, putting many doubts in my mind over choosing someone else.
“Cesc is a great player. We all know Cesc, a great technical player. Now I’m starting to get to know him as a man. A great personality.”
Conte also claims that he isn't overly concerned that striker Diego Costa already finds himself on three yellow cards from his first four Premier League matches of the season.
“He has three yellow cards, and two more is a ban. But I’m not worried about this,” added Conte.
“I think Diego is growing also in this situation because, in the last game, he showed a great attitude, great behaviour – despite a situation that was very difficult for him.
“But Diego, we all know him. He’s a passionate man. I want him to put this passion in his football when he plays. It’s important to show his passion in the right way, and he is doing this.”