Chelsea v Barcelona: Conte “My players can be very proud of what they did tonight” and on his future…

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte thought that his team was unlucky to not see out the victory at Stamford Bridge this evening after a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, the Italian tactician claimed that his pre-match preparations had gone “almost perfectly to plan,” before adding that “my players can be very proud of what they did tonight and we are very unlucky not to be going to the Camp Nou with a lead.”

Asked about whether the performance justified his choice of playing with a false number nine and leaving out his two main strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, Conte replied: “I pick my team to play the opposition and I think that tonight my team selection was justified.”

When asked if he thought his side were still in with a chance of causing an upset in the second-leg, Conte explained that: “It is only half-time and a lot can still happen.

“We have time to prepare but there are important games in between. Of course we still feel we have a chance.”

When he spoke to Mediaset Premium, he was asked whether he would like to return to the Italian national team as Head-Coach. Conte replied; “I have a contract until 2019 and I intend to respect that.

“I’m happy here but in marriage, both partners have to be happy together.”

Manchester City agree deal in principle to sign Fred

Manchester City have agreed on a deal to sign the Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.
According to Goal, both clubs have agreed on a fee of £44.5 million and the player will complete his transfer at the end of this season.
Nothing has been signed yet, but both parties have agreed to the terms of the transfer.

Apparently, Fr ed was keen on the move and the former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva helped broker the deal.
City tried to sign the box-to-box midfielder back in January but Shakhtar were not prepared to lose him back then. The Premier League giants went on to sign Aymeric Laporte by paying his £57m buy-out clause last month.
They were linked with a move for the Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez as well but the Foxes refused to sell the Algerian. Mahrez has been on strike ever since.
Fred is likely to partner Fernandinho at the heat of Manchester City’s midfield next season. He will bring more drive and power to Guardiola’s midfield.
Guardiola must now look to improve his left-back options as well. City need to find a top quality backup for Benjamin Mendy.

Bosnia Coach: Dzeko right to snub Chelsea

Bosnia-Herzegovina Coach Robert Prosinecki trusts Edin Dzeko made the right career decisions. “Roma and Chelsea are both big clubs.”
The striker had been on the verge of a transfer to Stamford Bridge in the January window, but opted to remain at the Stadio Olimpico.
“Dzeko is Dzeko, it doesn’t matter whether he plays for Roma or Chelsea, as they are both big clubs,” Prosinecki told Klix.
The Giallorossi finished ahead of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in their Champions League group and will face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 16.
“I will soon be in Italy to view some of our players, because as well as Dzeko there are also Miralem Pjanic and Ervin Zukanovic.”
Pjanic plays his football for Juventus, while defender Zukanovic is currently at Genoa on loan from Roma.

Chelsea fed up with Conte’s moans over control of transfers

Chelsea are losing patience with Antonio Conte’s complaints about the club’s January transfer activity and will warn the Italian that he cannot continue to imply he has no input into signings when they are working hard to recruit targets whom their manager specifically requested.
Chelsea are trying to sign Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri from Roma on Conte’s recommendation but that jarred with the wording of his answers at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday when he instead implied that the club are choosing the players

In remarks that have not gone unnoticed by the board, Conte said: “I think the club decide our transfer market. As I said before, my task is to try to improve the transfer market. The club decides every player.”
The club do not want Conte to suggest again that executives, including director Marina Granovskaia, are dictating player recruitment policy to him when he holds a press conference today ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Newcastle United