Football: Mum's the word for Antonio Conte on Chelsea transfer activity

Chelsea press conference with Antonio Conte on July 24, 2017.
Chelsea press conference with Antonio Conte on July 24, 2017.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte refused to comment on any transfer activity by the club during a press conference on Monday (July 24) at the National Stadium.

When asked about midfielder Nemanja Matic, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, Conte said: "I don't like to speak about players who are still here with us."

While still a Chelsea player, the Serbian international is not currently with the team, who are in town for the International Champions Cup (ICC) tournament and play German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday at the National Stadium.

Italian Serie A side Inter Milan, who arrived here on Tuesday, play Bayern on Thursday, and Chelsea on Saturday.

Conte, likewise, would not be drawn on the subject of Blues striker Diego Costa, who is headed for the Stamford Bridge exit door after falling out of favour with the Italian.

When a reporter attempted to ask Conte about why he "sent Costa packing", he, after glaring at the offender, would only speak about the club's record signing, Spanish international striker Alvaro Morata, Costa's replacement.

Said Conte: "I speak about Morata... Morata is a young player but I think he has a lot of experience. He has played for two big teams, Juventus and Real Madrid, and he won the Champions League (with Real) last year. I think he can have a good impact in the Premier League."

The Blues boss was also tight-lipped on a possible bid for Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva, whom he tried to sign in January.

"It is not correct to speak about a player of another team," said Conte.

"He is an Inter player and I have great respect for him, and his team."