Conte hits back at Pochettino: 'Judge Morata and Kane at the end of the season'

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The Blues boss has responded to claims from his coaching counterpart that his big-money signing snubbed Spurs due to the striking competition

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is reluctant to compare Alvaro Morata and Harry Kane but believes his summer signing is among the world’s best.

The Blues have snapped up the Spain international in a £70 million raid on Real Madrid.

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Conte has admitted that he needs to work hard on getting himself ready for a Premier League challenge, with the English top-flight awash with striking talent.

He is, however, reluctant to be drawn into a debate regarding where Morata stands in the pecking order, particularly when quizzed on his value next to Tottenham’s two-time Golden Boot winner Kane.

Conte said: "I can't reply to this question because Kane played in the English league and Morata played in the Spanish and Italian leagues.

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“After this season, I can reply to you in the right way."

Kane has finished as the Premier League’s top marksman in each of the last two seasons and boasts a prolific strike rate for Spurs and England.

Antonio Conte Alvaro Morata Chelsea

Morata has also been a regular source of goals in recent years, but has failed to match the return of a direct rival in London.

He had plenty of suitors this summer, though, with Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino claiming that he was snubbed as Morata did not fancy the challenge of competing with Kane.

Conte is refusing to read too much into those comments, with it his opinion that the 24-year-old is among the best in the business.

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He added: "I don't know about this situation [Morata's reasons for not joining Spurs]. But I think Morata is a really good player and he can compete with every striker in the world to try to play. 

“He is a young player and my task is also to help him improve, to exploit his quality because I know he has great quality and my task is this – to improve his quality to become one of the best strikers in the world."

Morata could make his competitive bow for Chelsea in Sunday’s Community Shield clash with FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley.