Antonio Conte has insisted that Nemanja Matic remains an “important” part of his Chelsea plans, despite persistent links with a move to Juventus.
Italian giants Juve have been monitoring Matic’s availability as they seek a replacement for Paul Pogba.
New Chelsea boss Conte has confirmed he has spoken with Matic about his situation, however, and expects the 28-year-old to remain at Stamford Bridge.
“Nemanja is an important player for me, and he knows this,” said Conte.
“There isn’t a problem with him – Nemanja was a Chelsea player and is a Chelsea player.”
Confirming Betrand Traore will join Ajax on a season-long loan, Conte revealed he has spent time with his Chelsea players trying to understand the reasons why the Blues slumped to a 10th-placed Premier League finish last term.
“I speak a lot with my players, all my players,” said Conte.
“Usually when you arrive at a new club it’s important to get to know the players, all the aspects.
Conte: 'Nemanja is an important player for me. He knows this. There isn't a problem with him. Nemanja is a Chelsea player.' #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 12, 2016
“It’s important to speak with all the players, to understand, to listen, why the last season was so bad.
“Because for the coach, for the first time arriving it’s important to go inside, into the head of the players to understand and solve the situation.
“Traore is a good prospect, he’s a prospect for a Chelsea player.
“He’s going on loan to Ajax, he’s a good player.
“And together the club we prefer to play and to improve, to have a season and to play every game, and then to come back.”
Chelsea have already splashed out more than £60million to recruit Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi and Leicester’s N’Golo Kante, but Conte admitted he continues to be baffled by the Premier League’s “crazy” transfer market.
Former Italy head coach Conte remained coy on potential targets, but admitted Chelsea are biding their time while attempting to gain value for money on further new squad additions.
Manchester United laid out a world record £89million fee to bring France midfielder Pogba back to Old Trafford from Juventus, and Conte believes the current transfer market is overinflated.
“For all the clubs, it’s a crazy transfer market,” said Conte.
“Not for Chelsea, in general. This market is a bit crazy, because when you try to buy one or another player, the cost is very, very expensive, and not the real valuation of the player.
“And it’s a very strange situation. But now we are waiting for the right solution for the club.”