Antonio Conte has said he will consult his players ahead of Chelsea´s Champions League clash with Barcelona tonight and after the game he might do better to seek out Ernesto Valverde.
Both coaches faced chaotic starting points this season but only Valverde heads into this last 16 second leg at the Camp Nou with his domestic campaign still very much intact.Each began the campaign at the end of a frenzied summer, in which key players were sold, less wanted ones bought and with the feeling overall of a squad weakened rather than bolstered.
Asked in September to reflect on the club´s transfer dealings, Conte said: “This question is very difficult to answer. I think we have to wait until the end of the season and then we’ll see.”
Valverde was even less diplomatic. “The best thing about this window is that it is now closed,” he said.
Barcelona bought Ousmane Dembele, the club´s most expensive signing, who limped off 55 minutes into his debut and would not return until January.
Chelsea, meanwhile, plumped for Alvaro Morata, who lacked confidence and gumption, and then in January Olivier Giroud, who had already been failing to get into the Arsenal team.