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Conte doubts Chelsea’s pulling power


Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte doubts whether the Champions League will hamper the English side in the transfer market.

Antonio Conte cast doubt over Chelsea’s pulling power in the transfer market as his side fight to finish in the Premier League’s top four.

Failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League is a real possibility for Chelsea, who are fifth and four points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool with eight matches remaining in the Premier League, following Wednesday’s European exit to Barcelona.

Conte has lamented Chelsea’s transfer business throughout the season after claiming the title last term, having missed out on signing Romelu Lukaku – who opted for Manchester United before the start of the campaign – while a move for Roma’s Edin Dzeko failed to materialise.

Chelsea did manage to sign Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta, though star midfielder Nemanja Matic was controversially sold to United, while star duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois continue to be linked with Real Madrid.

Asked if failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three seasons would make Chelsea less attractive in the market, Conte – preparing for Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City – told reporters: “I don’t know if it’s a problem to attract a great player or not.

“If you remember last season we won the title, and then you can see our transfer market. I think this is not the most important thing, if you win or stay in the Champions League.”

“Don’t forget that two years ago, Chelsea finished 10th with many players of this season, and they decided to continue to play for this club,” he continued.

“I think this is not a question for me, it’s a question for the players.”

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