Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has denied that he’s had a falling out with the club’s new head coach Antonio Conte, with rumours emerging that the Italian would be willing to let the Spaniard leave the club before the transfer window slams shut on Wednesday night.
Fabregas, who arrived from Barcelona for a fee believed to be in the region of £30 million in 2014, has so far made 97 appearances for the Blues in all competitions. He has yet to start a Premier League game under Conte, however, begin an unused substitute in the club’s 2-1 win over West Ham on the opening day of the season as well as during this weekend’s 3-0 win over Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
The former Arsenal man did start the West London club’s 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup last week, having come off the bench to supply Diego Costa for the club’s winning goal against Watford a few days before. His return to the bench for the visit of Burnley, combined with the fact that he wasn’t used during the match, has led some pundits to speculate over his future under Conte.
The 29-year-old was quick to dismiss the rumours, however, taking to social media to re-affirm his commitment to the club and to ensure people realise that he has a good relationship with his new manager. Posting on his Instagram account, cescf4bregas, the midfielder wrote, “Contrary to what has been written, the manager and I have a good relationship and he has NEVER told me that I can leave. He said that he counts on me, as I count on him. I will continue to fight for this club until the very end and when called upon I will always give my very best. I’m fully committed to @chelseafc and my only goal is to help them win more trophies. #ChelseaFC”.
Whether the Spaniard’s message will put exit rumours to bed remains to be seen. The transfer window doesn’t close until 11pm on Wednesday night and Conte will still be hoping to make a few changes to his squad before then. So far he’s only made three signings. Michy Batshauyi arrived from Marseille for £33 million at the start of July and N’Golo Kante arrived from defending Premier League champions Leicester City for around £30 million later in the same month.
33-year-old Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo became the club’s third signing since Conte was installed as Chelsea’s first permanent manager since José Mourinho. An undisclosed fee was paid to Dinamo Zagreb for his signature and he signed a one-year contract with the West London club. That is unlikely to be enough for the Italian to feel as though he’s put his own mark on the starting XI and Fabregas could yet make way in order to fund moves for other players.
Having been capped by Spain over one hundred times, including games that helped his home nation to win the FIFA World Cup in 2010, Fabregas may well be sort after should the rumours be true that Conte has told him he’s surplus to requirements. He was used regularly by Mourinho in his first season at Stamford Bridge, with the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ considering him to be an integral part of his squad.
Whether Fabregas will still be at the club on Thursday remains to be seen. As an experienced player with belief in his own abilities, however, he may not be so keen to dismiss rumours linking him with a move away from Chelsea if he is not used more in between now and the transfer window re-opening in January.