Antonio Conte has embarked for Anfield in combative mood. Chelsea take on Liverpool in the weekend’s most anticipated fixture but the manager prefaced it by opening up a new line of complaint against his employers, over the contract of Thibaut Courtois, while continuing to air grievances over a congested fixture list. The Chelsea goalkeeper is under contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of next season but the player Conte believes will be “the best in the world” said this week there has been no progress on a new deal and he is happy to wait until the end of the season to pursue discussions. When asked to comment on Courtois’ remarks in his pre-match press conference, Conte said the onus lay on the club to fix the situation. “I must be honest, I think that this question is for the club, not for me,” he said. “I like to give my opinion about technical decisions. It is important for the club to face this issue, to face this contract with Courtois. For sure I can tell that Courtois is one of the best, maybe the best goalkeeper in the world, and he is a player who is very important for Chelsea. I can tell this. But for sure the renewal is a task for the club. “If a big player decides to not sign a new contract it is difficult for a club to try to avoid this issue,” Conte went on. “But at the same time I think there is space to try to deal with the issue and try to solve the situation. Maybe [Alexis] Sánchez and [Mesut] Özil they are finishing their contracts with Arsenal and it is not simple but every club has to try solve the situations.” Chelsea made a 6,000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan in midweek, touching down in London only at the second time of asking because of bad weather. But while he admitted to being disconcerted by these events Conte was more keen to repeat his insistence that Chelsea have been unfairly done by in the allocation of fixtures.
Antonio Conte takes Chelsea to task over Thibaut Courtois and congestion
The Guardian | Nov 25