Antonio Conte dismisses talk Chelsea star could be set for exit after stellar pre-season display

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed that playmaker Oscar has a role to play for him this season despite speculation that the Brazilian could leave.

The 24-year-old came off the bench to score twice against AC Milan in a 3-1 win in Minnesota on Wednesday night, and it evidently impressed his coach.

Reports after the Real Madrid defeat earlier this week suggested that Conte was disappointed with Oscar’s effort, and that in turn led to speculation of a possible £30m move to Inter, as reported by ESPN FC.

However, it doesn’t appear as though the Brazilian international is going anywhere this summer, with Conte happy with what he has seen from the player and is confident that he can continue to improve under his stewardship.

“Oscar is an important player, and I think the season when Chelsea won the title, [he] played a fantastic season,” Conte said in a news conference on Wednesday. “I think that Oscar is a good player with great talent and he can improve. He can improve a lot, I think, but I am seeing in him a good attitude, a good will.

“I said before to wait to judge the player, to see the player in [the preseason], and then to try the right solution for this team. I think this match told me a lot about this, also about the players who we keep and who can go on loan and who we can sell. For me, today it was important because I had the idea more clear than before.”

With their pre-season tour of he US now over, Conte and his men will return to Stamford Bridge this week with a clearer picture of what needs to be done in the remainder of the transfer window.

Having taken 30 players on the tour, further departures will be expected, while Conte will likely have more targets in mind to add to his acquisitions of Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante so far this summer as he looks to improve significantly on their 10th-place finish last season in his first campaign in charge at the club.

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