New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte left Cesc Fabregas on the bench in the season opener against West Ham.
While many are speculating that Fabregas is on the fringes for Conte and could be on his way out, Conte gave another account of the situation, preaching a need for squad togetherness.
“Cesc is Chelsea’s player, and I’m happy about him, with his attitude and behavior,” said the Italian boss. “He must know from before that when we are a great team like Chelsea it can happen that I have to take a decision before the game to choose a starting XI. That can happen that Fabregas is not in the starting XI, but it can happen for all the players. It’s important to see always the right attitude. Because we must fight this season and it’s important to stay together in every situation.”
While Conte didn’t give a reason for leaving Fabregas out of the squad on Monday, he said it was not because he wishes to oust the Spaniard.
“The shape can improve and can change all the situations. Now I took this decision but the next game I can change or not. When a coach takes this decision there is always a reason but I prefer to keep this to myself. But I repeat I don’t see any problem and I’m very happy to have these players, to train these players.”
Despite Conte’s assurances, there are still rumors that Fabregas could be on his way out not only of Stamford Bridge, but out of the Premier League for a second time. According to a number of reports, the 29-year-old has been offered to a number of clubs. First, the Mirror reported Chelsea offered Fabregas to Juventus as a replacement to Paul Pogba. According to Spanish outlet Sport, Chelsea also offered Fabregas to Real Madrid, and surprisingly the player is interested. That is unexpected given Fabregas’s history as a Barcelona youth player and later as a first-team player.