'Morata must be ready for next season!' - Conte hints Chelsea won't be selling striker

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The Spanish striker has endured a difficult season at Stamford Bridge but the manager has suggested he won't be sold, despite links with Juventus

Antonio Conte has hinted that Chelsea will not sell Alvaro Morata this summer, amid links with Juventus .

Morata has struggled at times this season, scoring 11 Premier League goals in a total of 29 appearances.

Indeed, the Spain international has attributed his difficult form to regular painkilling injections, and hit back at his critics in the process ..

And his struggles have led to speculation that he could return to Serie A, having spent two years with the Turin giants between 2014 and 2016.

Reports suggest Juve could make a £60 million ($81m) bid this summer, or look to take Morata on loan, but Conte insists that the striker must focus on the remainder of this season, and also prepare for 2018-19.

"Morata is Chelsea's player, he must be ready to play tomorrow and next season. I think the situation is very clear," he told reporters.

Pressed on links with Juventus, Conte added: "I don't like to comment on speculation. Now it is right for everyone to be focused on the present and finish this season in the best possible way.

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"I think this season was a difficult season, but not only for Morata. Your [the press] focus is only Morata, but I would like it if your focus was for the whole team. Not only one player."

Chelsea are currently fifth in the Premier League table, and sit two points behind Tottenham, and three behind Liverpool.

Indeed, the Blues have a game in hand on the Reds, facing Huddersfield Town on Wednesday before their final league game of the season, away to Newcastle.

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