Conte has been frustrated by Chelsea's failure to land his top transfer targets while the champions' title rivals embarked on multi-million pound spending sprees. "This is my message", Conte said. I'm not looking for sympathy.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had an answer, pointing to Chelsea sending numerous players out on loan, but Conte insisted: "I'm not looking for sympathy of any coaches for this situation". My aim is to try to improve my players, to try to improve my team. I think the club is trying to do their best. At the moment I signed a new contract, and then I made a decision to stay, I chose to work for this club, and then to try to give every day 120 per cent.
"My only task is to be focused [on matters] on the pitch".
One of the main issues is Costa remaining in exile after Conte, who had grown exhausted of the Spain international's attempts to engineer a transfer, told him by text message that he was no longer part of his plans. This season, in this moment, I agree with these people who think this. This must be my focus during this period.
Striker Diego Costa was certainly not one of those players, and Conte admits he does not know when - or if - the fiery Spaniard will return to the club.
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A Chelsea spokesperson then intervened, saying: "Nothing to report on that".
An ankle knock Pedro sustained in the Community Shield penalty shootout loss to Arsenal could mean Morata will start alongside Michy Batshuayi, who scored the decisive goal in Chelsea's title success at West Brom in May.
Wenger also hinted that there could be another summer signing at Arsenal following the arrival of Alenxandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac.
The German could well be handed a Premier League debut on Saturday if Conte's training session on Thursday is anything to go by.
The players showed a good form in the pre-season where they've won five games and drew two times, but anything more than honorable defeat at Stamford Bridge would be a massive surprise. "This role is the most hard to adapt to then the other roles".
BT Sport's Frank Lampard explains why he expects former club Chelsea to retain their Premier League title.