Antonio Conte Says He's a 'Disaster' at Convincing Chelsea to Make Transfers

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte gives a press conference at Chelsea's Cobham training facility in Stoke D'Abernon, southwest of London, on February 9, 2018 ahead of their English Premier League football match against West Bromwich Albion. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has labelled himself a "disaster" at persuading the Blues hierarchy to spend money on the players he wants. 

The Premier League champions endured a frustrating January transfer window as reports again emerged about disagreements between Conte and the Chelsea board, and the Italian admitted successfully signing his preferred targets is not one of his strong points, per John Cross in the Mirror

"I think I'm a bit of a disaster [trying] to convince the club to buy the players. In this aspect I can improve a lot. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers. I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good to persuade their clubs to spend money and buy top players. The transfer window is a topic that we have closed."

Per the Telegraph's Sam Wallace, Conte frequently complained last month he was not receiving the backing he wanted in the transfer market and implied he had little input around targets.

Chelsea did sign three new players in January, with Emerson Palmieri, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud all joining the club, but it had been hoped Alexis Sanchez, Alex Sandro and Virgil van Dijk could all move to Stamford Bridge, per Dominic Fifield in the Guardian.

Perhaps most concerning for Chelsea about missing out on big-name targets is that their key Premier League rivals signed them instead. Van Dijk joined Liverpool and Sanchez moved to Manchester United.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 11, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Chris
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Even Arsenal, who are struggling to keep pace in the race for the top four and have historically not been the biggest of spenders, splashed out a club-record £56 million to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea's more conservative recent approach in the transfer market has been in stark contrast with both Manchester clubs, in particular.

While United added Sanchez to their squad in January, Manchester City signed Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club-record fee of £57 million.

Conte's ongoing frustrations in the transfer market were highlighted in January with a major drop in form from Chelsea.

Since the start of 2018, the Blues have won only two of 10 matches in all competitions and have lost their last two games in the Premier League.

As a result, Chelsea have dropped out of the top four in the top flight, but they can move back into fourth place if they beat bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge on Monday.