Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has sworn to stay at Stamford Bridge and battle N'Golo Kante for a starting position, welcoming the France international ace to West London.
Antonio Conte made the Leicester City hero one of his first purchases as the new Blues boss, but Matic has proclaimed he wants to fight for his place despite the failures of last season, as quoted by Tom Doyle of the London Evening Standard:
I am sure that 100,000 players want to come to play for Chelsea so there is always competition, all life is a fight so every player is ready for that.
Yes, [it is great to have Kante] - he is a good player and I am sure that he will bring a lot of qualities to our team and all good players are welcome to our team.
He is a great player and it was difficult play against him [last season] and I am very happy because he is coming to Chelsea.
Conte has also warned off opposition clubs in their pursuit of the powerful Serbia international, telling former team Juventus the player is not for sale as they look at options to replace Paul Pogba.
John Percy of the Telegraph quoted Conte during Chelsea's pre-season endeavours:
He [Matic] is not for sale and I know with work he can become a fantastic midfielder, one of the best in the world.
He is a very important player for me, he is very important in my idea of football. He knows this and I’m delighted by his attitude and behaviour and I see in him commitment.
The 27-year-old witnessed his form collapse last season as Chelsea surrendered the Premier League crown with a whimper.
Matic featured in 38 matches in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, according to WhoScored.com, as manager Jose Mourinho was shown the exit door at the Bridge.
In other news, former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma has said he could have recently returned to the Blues after an outstanding campaign for PSV Eindhoven before opting to sign for Bundelsiga outfit Wolfsburg.
Bruma said: "I had other options like Inter Milan. I could have gone back to Chelsea, who wanted me. At Chelsea or Inter, it would have been difficult for me to make the next step."
The 24-year-old joined the Blues youth team in 2007 from Feyenoord but departed London in 2013 to join PSV after loan spells at Leicester and Hamburg.
Here is Bruma in action before his recent switch to Germany:
At the top of his game, Matic is a wonderful asset, equally talented at both destructive and constructive parts of midfield play.
However, his form was a major reason why Chelsea collapsed last season and contributed to Mourinho's hasty downfall.
Kante proved a world-class talent for the Foxes last term, and he will be arriving at Chelsea to be an automatic starter.
Matic will have to rewind his performance value two years, and if he cannot find his very best quality, he will spend much of the new campaign on the bench as Conte crafts a new team.