Gary Neville sends warning to Antonio Conte about Chelsea signings

The Manchester United legend warns Antonio Conte that Chelsea will find it difficult to replace Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and John Terry

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Screen grab

Gary Neville has warned Chelsea manager Antonio Conte that it will take time to replace Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and John Terry.

The Premier League champions sold Serbia international Matic to title rivals Manchester United in a £40m deal last week.

Club captain Terry called time on his Stamford Bridge career to complete a move to Championship side Aston Villa.

Costa is still at Chelsea but Conte has reportedly told the controversial Spanish striker that he is free to leave this summer.

Chelsea have signed Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, AS Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and Real Madrid striker Real Madrid this summer.

However, Conte is still thought to be in the transfer market to make some new signings as the Blues prepare to begin the defence of their title.

Former Manchester United defender Neville warned Conte that it will be difficult replacing three experienced players in his Chelsea squad.

“We said last season that they had a free run, no Europe, no distractions, but this year they have and he needs more depth and he will want supporting in the transfer market,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Costa has not left yet, but they are going to lose him, they have lost Matic, they have lost John Terry – if you think Costa, Matic and Terry are going out of a changing room, that takes some replacing. In character, experience, but also in performance.

“So I would think that he would definitely want more, and I think they are probably short of where he wanted them to be at this stage of the season.”

Chelsea lost to Arsenal on penalties in the Community Shield at Wembley last weekend.

The Blues won the Premier League title with two games to spare last season in Conte’s debut campaign in England.

The west London side will start their title defence with a home clash against Burnley on Saturday afternoon.

MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views

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