Football: Chelsea manager Conte pleased with players' commitment in pre-season but refuses to rule out new signings

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte speaking to the media during a training session at the Singapore American School on July 28, 2017.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte speaking to the media during a training session at the Singapore American School on July 28, 2017.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes his players are raring to go for the next season as the Blues prepare for their title defence.

Speaking from the Singapore American School, where the English champions have been training for the duration of their stay in Singapore, he said: "I'm pleased for this pre-season because I saw the right commitment from my players. They are working hard and for me it's a great pleasure to see this.

"Pre-season now is like this for every team (going on tours), you are lucky if you have one week at home to prepare, but this is modern football."

On new signing Antonio Rudiger, the Italian said that the 24-year-old central defender could yet play a part in the Blues' next International Champions Cup game against Inter Milan on Saturday (July 29).

Said Conte: "I think he (Rudiger) could play tomorrow. He arrived and started training with us only today, but it is very important to find a good fit for him and the team as soon as possible."

Chelsea fans can also expect to see record signing Alvaro Morata in the starting line-up, with Conte happy with the way the Spanish striker is adapting.

"He is working very hard, it is important to have a bit of time to adapt to our methods and philosophy, but I am seeing great will on his part to learn these things quickly," he said.

The Chelsea boss refused to rule out the possibility of further additions to the squad, especially with star man Eden Hazard not expected to be fit for the start of the season.

"I am speaking with the club every day about the ways to strengthen our team and the squad, we know very well what are the positions which need reinforcement," he said.

Chelsea will face Arsenal in the traditional English season curtain-raiser the Community Shield on Aug 6.