Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Conte blocks Oscar move

Published:Saturday | November 19, 2016 | 11:00 AM

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte dismissed the possibility of midfielder Oscar leaving Stamford Bridge in January, despite the Brazilian's limited minutes in the Italian tactician's new 3-4-3 system.

Oscar has not started a Premier League match since Conte's formation shift at the end of September, and several outlets have reported that the London club is prepared to listen to offers for the midfielder when the transfer window re-opens in January.

"Oscar's future is Chelsea, full stop," Conte said. "For me, Oscar is an important player in the squad. He's in good form. It's logical I have to take the starting XI every week, but Oscar is a great player. For me, he stays at Chelsea.

"It's important that this message arrives for all. But Oscar will stay with us because I consider him an important player for Chelsea."

Conte also insisted that Cesc Fabregas will also be retained by the London club amidst interest from Serie A.

"The same speech as for Oscar. I anticipate this question," Conte said.

Conte has made just one change to his starting XI in the last five Premier League matches - a run that has seen Chelsea take maximum points to rise to second in the table, scoring 16 goals and conceding none.

"We have a complete squad," Conte added. "It's normal that, during a season, it can happen that there are some injuries. But now we have a good squad to have some substitutions if there are some injuries."