Antonio Conte not expecting David Luiz to leave Chelsea in January
2 January 2018, 14:28
Antonio Conte says he is "very happy" to continue working with David Luiz amid speculation he will leave Chelsea in the January transfer window.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's night's clash with Arsenal, live on Sky Sports, Conte also ruled out the possibility of recalling any players Chelsea currently have out on loan, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham.
Luiz has only played once since October due to a combination of injury and losing his place in the team after Chelsea's 3-0 defeat away to Roma.
Speculation has linked Luiz with a move to various clubs, including Arsenal, but Conte says he doesn't expect any players to leave Stamford Bridge this month unless new recruits arrive first.
He said: "David improved a lot his physical condition in the last couple of days. He worked with us and I think he could be in contention for the Norwich game.
"I'm very happy to work with these players. I don't see a problem. At the same time, I understand if some players are not playing regularly and want to leave.
"My expectation is all the players we have in the squad will stay here and continue to work. Our squad is not big and for this reason it's impossible to send on loan or sell one player if we don't sign another player."
One player recently linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is experienced defender Giorgio Chiellini, whose contract at Juventus expires in the summer.
However Conte, who managed Chiellini at Juventus and with Italy, dismissed the speculation.
When asked about the prospects of signing the 33-year-old, he said: "No. Giorgio is a fantastic player but I think he wants to finish his career at Juventus. I think it's right to finish his career in this way.
"A lot of speculation is normal when the transfer window starts. It's a difficult moment for every coach.
"In this period we must be very focused on our target and we need to find the right concentration for the transfer market."
When asked about the possibility of recalling any players out on loan, Conte said: "I don't think this could be realistic. The players that we send on loan, they are playing. I don't see a possibility."
(c) Sky News 2018: Antonio Conte not expecting David Luiz to leave Chelsea in January