Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea's Conte heaps praise on Vidal as rumours of summer move heat up

 

Antonio Conte has hailed Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal as a player he would like to "go to war" with, but would not be drawn on the possibility of bringing him to Stamford Bridge next summer.

Vidal was a key part of Conte's Juventus team that won three consecutive Serie A titles before leaving for Bayern in 2015.

There have been suggestions in Chile and Germany that Conte wants to bring Vidal to Stamford Bridge next year, even though the player will be 31 by then and does not fit the usual profile of a Chelsea transfer target.

Conte could not say much about any potential move for Vidal but did make clear how much he admired the Chilean.

"It's not right to talk about a player of another team," he said. "Especially if you try to link this player with us. July is far away."

But Conte was still full of praise for the dynamic midfielder. "Arturo is a fantastic player," he said. "I have a great respect for Arturo, and we spent many years at Juventus together. I would always want him to go to war with me."

Chelsea are in third place after a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Conte added: "There is great motivation to fight until the end. I don't know if we can do this for the title because it depends on Manchester City, who are having a fantastic run. With the other top teams, we stay there to fight."

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