Conte: It's been a 'disaster' convincing Chelsea board to sign players

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When you sign along the dotted line and agree to become Chelsea manager, you have to accept that your job will be in jeopardy if the results are not positive.

When Conte speaks of learning from other managers, he has Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho at the forefront of his mind.

Chelsea did not compete with Liverpool or United for headline names Virgil van Dijk and Alexis Sanchez in January, instead they reinforced Conte's squad options with Ross Barkley, Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud for a combined outlay of just over £50 million. "For sure, when you play every three days, it's impossible to work on the physical aspects".

But the 48-year-old remains unapologetic for his regimented approach, saying: "I think that, usually when you work, you don't smile".

Mundo Deportivo is reporting that the Gunners are eying Luis Enrique as their manager for the next season and beyond.

You may be asking yourself 'but won't Chelsea get Enrique now?'.

I have spoken with him, " said Conte. "I'm this type of coach". He's a really good person.

"I have great admiration for Luis Enrique and, sometimes, he is a fantastic coach".

"We are talking about a team that is fourth in the league (before the start of the weekend games), is preparing to face the game against Barcelona, we are in the FA Cup competition and we reached the semi-finals of the League Cup".

'We do this job, and you must be open and understand the situation can change. A club can take different decisions.

'It is the same for me. "I have, usually, a great respect [for fellow managers]".

He lifted the Premier League trophy in his first year in England but a 4-1 thrashing at Watford last Monday followed an embarrassing 0-3 loss to Bournemouth in Chelsea's last home game to leave the Premier League champions in serious risk of failing to qualify for next season's Champions League.

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Pardew believes Chelsea are missing former striker Diego Costa.

Antonio Conte won the Premier League title during his debut season with Chelsea. "It's very hard to smile".

Costa's exit was prompted by a bust-up with Conte but Pardew has sympathy for the Italian.

"I think we are ready". You can't fault his record'.

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