• Conte can’t stop Hazard leaving Chelsea

    Antonio Conte and Eden Hazard Antonio Conte and Eden Hazard

    Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admits he’s powerless to prevent the sale of Eden Hazard, should Barcelona come calling for the Belgian star.

    Hazard has reportedly been identified as a possible replacement for Neymar at Camp Nou, while Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked during the close-season.

    Conte has already hinted at his displeasure over Nemanja Matic’s departure to Manchester United, and is adamant the champions still require strengthening.

    While insisting Hazard is happy at Stamford Bridge, the Italian conceded that any offer for the 26-year-old will rest with the club’s hierarchy.

    “I am the coach and I can give my opinion. But the final decision is always the club’s,” Conte said.

    “I think these are rumours and Eden is very happy to stay with us, to play with Chelsea and to start the new season.

    “We are trying to buy players, not to sell them. Otherwise, the number is always less and we are in trouble.”

    The Blues open their Premier League title defence against Burnley in what Conte believes will be a highly competitive season.

    “In England, you win the title and the next season the teams prepare to fight you with all their strength,” he said.

    “They go to the transfer market, they try to improve and it is very difficult to repeat the success of the season before.”

    You may also like