Conte forgets missed transfer targets as he lauds Zappacosta and Drinkwater

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The Blues boss has given his opinion on this summer’s business after his side were outspent by several Champions League rivals

Chelsea concluded their transfer window with several big buys but they also missed out on a few big-name targets, including the likes of Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Conte earlier described assertions that he was to blame for the club missing out on Barkley as “ridiculous", before he clarified his minor role in Chelsea’s transfer market moves.

Leicester 7/2 to beat Chelsea

Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater arrived to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day from Torino and Leicester City, respectively. Conte insists he is happy despite the club not getting every player they targeted.

“Yes, but don't forget that one English player signed in Drinkwater," Conte told a news conference at Cobham Training Centre. "If I don't make a mistake, he's an English player, so we're happy with that. We are happy with him.

"But, I repeat, now it's not important to look in the past because the past is the past. We have to be focused on the present and the present is this. We are happy. I'm happy to work with this group of players and, at the end of the transfer market, two new players arrived in Zappacosta and Drinkwater.

HD Danny Drinkwater Leicester City

"I think Danny is a really good player. Two years ago, together with N'Golo [Kante] they won the league. They played every game and showed themselves to be strong. I think he's a really good player who can help us. For me, the midfielders are very important because I need midfielders with specific characteristics.

"Danny has those. Now it's important for him to be 100 per cent fit, to recover to the best physical condition and adapt himself to our style of football, and then he will be ready to advance and play with Chelsea. Now it's time to work together, to work with these new players, to adapt them quickly in our style of football.

“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now is a Liverpool player. Ross Barkley is an Everton player. It's a lack of respect to speak about the players of the other teams. I think it's not right. I repeat, the transfer window is closed. What happened happened.

"Now we must be focused on the present to try and prepare our present and, above all, our future in the best way.”

Chelsea have been training with their new signings as Drinkwater arrived at the start of the week to begin work at Cobham straight away. Zappacosta arrived later after an impactful substitute performance against Israel for Italy. 

Davide Zappacosta Italy Albania

Conte is often careful when adding in his new players to ensure that they understand the club's system and tactics. It is unlikely that the new signings will start against Leicester on Saturday, and Conte insists that his new players will have to learn how to play in their already successful 3-4-3 formation. 

“Honestly, we want to continue to play this system," Conte said. "Also because, don't forget, there are 11 players who played last season and we changed our system to put them in the best condition to exploit their talent.

"For sure, now, with the new signings, we have to try to put them in the same best condition. But I repeat: our system should be the same. You don't know what will happen.”

Chelsea spent a sensational £186 million on six players but most of the funds were raised through player sales. The club's net spending was around £55m as they raised money through sales of the likes of Nemanja Matic and Nathan Ake, as well as having the £52m to invest from the Oscar sale in January. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea's Champions League rivals such as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have outspent them. Conte stopped short of criticising the super rich duo but says Chelsea respect Financial Fair Play. 

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Chelsea net spend GFX

“I think it's very important to have always a good balance between buying and selling. It's important to respect Financial Fair Play (FFP},” he said. "I think we respect it, no? Yes we do. This issue [of funding] is not easy.

"It is not easy. If you want you can find always a lot of solutions.”

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