Antonio Conte Talks Thibaut Courtois and Willian Rumours in Pre-Swansea Presser

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Antonio Conte manager / head coach of Chelsea celebrates with Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois  during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reiterated his desire to see goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sign a new deal at the club.

The Italian addressed the press on Tuesday on the eve of his team's showdown with Swansea City in the Premier League, and questions about the futures of Courtois, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were all on the agenda for Conte.

With speculation gathering pace about the stopper's future, the manager made it clear he rates Courtois highly and wants to see him at the football club for a long time yet, per Liam Twomey of ESPN FC:

As reported by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, with his contract poised to run out in 2019, there are said to be a number of teams looking at the Belgium international, including Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Willian's future has been subject to speculation lately.
Willian's future has been subject to speculation lately.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

In addition to Courtois, there has also been speculation about the future of Willian lately, with James Cambridge of the Daily Express suggesting Manchester United want to sign the Brazilian, as well as a number of clubs from the Chinese Super League.

The midfielder is not a regular starter under Conte, although when asked as to whether he could keep the player happy, the manager insisted he could:

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Another topic discussed was the development of Loftus-Cheek, who has been in excellent form on loan at Crystal Palace this term.

The 21-year-old has long been cited as a player with huge potential by those associated with Chelsea, and having struggled to make it into the first team in recent years, he's had to move away to find some consistency.

Loftus-Cheek has been excellent this term for Palace.
Loftus-Cheek has been excellent this term for Palace.OLLY GREENWOOD/Getty Images

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson has admitted that Chelsea do have the option to recall Loftus-Cheek should they wish, something they did last January with defender Nathan Ake after his brilliant start to the season with Bournemouth. But Conte wouldn't be drawn in on the possibility:

The Blues face Swansea on Wednesday at home after a tough test away at Liverpool on Saturday, in which they secured a hard-earned point.

It's a result that put Chelsea 11 points behind leaders Manchester City and in danger of surrendering the Premier League title they won so impressively last season with something of a whimper. Conte suggested the side is making improvements, though:

Evidently, Conte is keen to see Courtois' future resolved, as the goalkeeper is a crucial part of the Chelsea side. Since he was instilled as the first choice at Stamford Bridge in 2014, the Blues have gone on to win two Premier League titles.

The future of Willian is also fascinating, as the Brazilian will surely be a little concerned about being down the pecking order in the eyes of his manager. But with three goals in his last two appearances for the Blues, he's doing plenty to ensure he remains in the plans of Conte for a while.