‘Hazard is very happy’ at Chelsea amid Barca links – Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has dismissed reports that Eden Hazard could join Barcelona and said the Belgium international is “very happy” playing for the Premier League champions.

Hazard has been one of a number of players linked with Barca following Neymar’s departure for Paris Saint-Germain, but Conte is adamant that players are more likely to arrive at Chelsea than depart.

“We are trying to buy the players, not to sell them,” Conte told a news conference. “Otherwise the number is always less and we are in trouble.

“I think these are rumours and Eden is very happy to stay with us, to play with Chelsea and to start the new season. To recover [from] his injury and to start the season with us. I think so.”

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As well as new signings Conte is also targeting victory against Arsenal in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley.

Defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup final denied Conte the Double in his first season at Chelsea, but after ending the season with defeat he wants to begin this one with a win.

Conte said: “It was a pity to lose the game, to lose the FA Cup final against Arsenal after a really great season for us.

“Now there is another game. We know very well Arsenal is a strong team.

“We’re waiting a game very difficult for us and want to try to start the season with a win. The same [for] Arsenal. I want to see a good game, for the players, for the people.”

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Conte plans to stick with the 3-4-3 formation which served Chelsea so well last term. “After a good season you have to keep the positive things and try to change the negative things,” he added.

“One positive thing was our formation, our system. Now we are trying to continue to work in this system to try to improve.

“Every system needs to improve season by season, year by year.”

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