Axed Luiz faces fight for Chelsea future, warns Conte

Stamford Bridge

"That's some kind of achievement already, so after that he could claim himself as a player that is ready to replace one of the three, I still didn't have that many games in one team so after this season it might be my time but I don't know".

Wilkins, who also represented Manchester United during his playing career, believes Luiz would be better employed as a midfielder but feels he is too much of a liability at the back.

Conte's infamous text message confirming Costa wasn't in his plans riled the Brazilian, who refused to leave his home town of Lagarto to report for preseason training as he attempted to force through a move back to Atletico Madrid.

"It's simple", Conte said.

"It is a tactical decision", the manager told Sky Sports.

Conte informed Costa via text at the end of last season that he was no longer wanted at the club, which is said to have left certain squad members - including Luiz - unhappy.

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"I repeat: I have to put my face to every situation and then sometimes to make important decisions".

"If I see that you are not in good form, it's normal. But I do the best things for my team".

While manager after manager have been too afraid of the consequences to axe the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and, to different degrees, allowed the dressing room to dictate the future, Conte will keep matters in his own hands.

"No. [checks]. I think that I have a squad".

Priority targets such as Romelu Lukaku and Alex Sandro were not secured primarily because Chelsea refused to meet the financial demands required to make the deals happen, and those decisions rest with the club's de facto chief executive and transfer negotiator Granovskaia. I saw him play against Roma [a 3-0 Champions League defeat] the other night and he didn't look anywhere near it. "I try to do this".

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