Skip to main content

Chelsea boss Conte wary of dressing-room 'anarchy'

Antonio Conte says a successful coach must retain "total control" of the dressing room to avoid "anarchy", as the Chelsea manager prepares to offload Diego Costa.

Costa was dropped in January amid interest from the Chinese Super League, only to regain his place in the first team and help Chelsea to win the Premier League title.

He is not expected to remain at Stamford Bridge in the long term, though, Conte having spent big to sign striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.

And the former Juventus and Italy boss has made it clear he will offer no concessions to unruly stars, regardless of their seniority or importance to the team. 

"If I go and am very strict only with the young players and not the old players, it is not the right way to have respect from the dressing room," he said.

"The players are at the same level and sometimes I demand more from the older players than the young players — they have more experience to teach the young players the right behaviour.

"The coach must be in total control of the dressing room. 

"Otherwise, there is anarchy. Yes, anarchy.

"When I was a footballer, [Marcello] Lippi and [Giovanni] Trapattoni and ­[Carlo] Ancelotti and [Arrigo] Sacchi - my coaches - were totally in control of the dressing room.

"Otherwise, you are preparing to die - 'Morira'. If this doesn't happen, you are preparing yourself for death."

Chelsea had to part with a club-record fee to take Morata away from the Santiago Bernabeu and, according to Conte, the Blues were unable to compete with Manchester City for the signing of England international fullback Kyle Walker, who is believed to have cost Pep Guardiola's team approximately £50million.

"We tried to buy Walker," the Italian said. 

"Honestly, I think now every single player is expensive. For you to even enquire about one player, he is expensive. 

"You go to buy a right-back, a left-back or a central defender and he is expensive. 

"It is very difficult in the transfer market for the teams that need to improve their squads."