Chelsea won't be held to ransom by inflated transfer fees – Antonio Conte

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has insisted he would
not be comfortable with Chelsea paying over
market value to secure their transfer targets
in the final weeks of the transfer window.

The Premier League’s bumper new £8 billion
TV deal has prompted a huge rise in the
transfer fees top English clubs are willing to
sanction this summer. Manchester United
broke the world transfer record to bring Paul
Pogba back to Old Trafford in a £93 million
deal, while rivals Manchester City made John
Stones the second-most expensive defender
in history when they acquired him for £47.5m
from Everton.

Chelsea, in contrast, have been relatively
restrained in the transfer market, spending a
combined £63m to bring Michy Batshuayi
and N’Golo Kante to Stamford Bridge while
passing on several more expensive options.
Last week Conte voiced his frustration at
what he described as a “very crazy” transfer
market, with some recent reports suggesting
that Napoli are holding out for as much as
£60m before they agree to sell defender
Kalidou Koulibaly.

At his Friday news conference, Conte
admitted that Chelsea are in need of
defensive reinforcements before the end of
August but he is adamant that they will
not be held to ransom if suitable fees can’t
be agreed.

Asked if he would be happy for Chelsea to
pay too much to secure a player this summer,
Conte replied: “No, I’m not comfortable. I
don’t like to pay a lot of money. If a player
deserves us to pay [lots of] money, then it’s
right. But for a medium player, it’s right to
pay the right price, not £20-30m over. That’s
not right. The money is not mine, but I don’t
like it the same. I don’t find it right.

“At this moment it’s very difficult to buy
because if you ask a player of the medium
level, they might ask for £55m. For this
reason, it’s a crazy market. It’s very difficult
to enter the market with these prices and in
this condition.

“That is why we are waiting for the right
situation. We must be patient and wait. Not
only for Chelsea. I saw also with the other
clubs, it’s very difficult to have a good
market. But now it’s a real situation. We
must live with this situation in the right way.

“I am pleased to have these players. They
have shown me great attitude, great
behaviour. I’m delighted to train them every
day. Now we have these players and we are
very happy to work with them. But we have
two weeks before the end of the transfer
market. If we can improve this squad, we
want to improve it.”

Conte has just six fit senior defenders to call
upon after Baba Rahman and Michael Hector
were allowed to join Schalke and Eintracht
Frankfurt respectively on loan for the season.
American youngster Matt Miazga is also
expected to depart on a temporary basis
before the end of August.
Chelsea are waiting for clarity on Juan
Cuadrado’s situation after the player’s agent,
Alessandro Lucci, was quoted by SportItalia
as saying he would fly to London on Friday in
a bid to let his client re-join Juventus on
loan.

Neither Cuadrado nor Loic Remy featured in
Chelsea’s matchday squad for Monday’s 2-1
win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge. And
Conte declined to clarify whether either would
be involved for Saturday’s trip to Vicarage
Road to face Watford.

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