Conte Douses Hazard Transfer Rumours As Chelsea Host Palace; Allardyce Eager To Face Top Coach

Conte Douses Hazard Transfer Rumours As Chelsea Host Palace; Allardyce Eager To Face Top Coach

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has dispelled rumours of contract dispute between Eden Hazard and the club, insisting that the Belgian's future at Stamford Bridge is intact, and he  expects a good game, for the umpteenth time, from the attacking midfielder in Saturday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

Conte was speaking at his Friday's press conference where he also told the media that John Terry knows his intention about a contract extension for the former England captain.

"The only thing I can say is Eden is a Chelsea player, our player. We are happy with him. He is happy with us. I don't see a problem, he states.

"I'm repeating always the same thing: that now it's very important to be focused for my players on the present.

"It's normal in this part of the season, to start rumours about our player, to try to create difficulty in the mind of the players."

Hazard is an injury doubt for Saturday's match with Crystal Palace because of the calf problem that forced him to miss the match against Stoke on 18 March and the recent international matches.

Asked about his chances of facing the Eagles, Antonio Conte says: "I'm confident not only to play, but to play really good." 

In addition to the issue of a new contract for Eden Hazard, Conte also spoke about John Terry's situation at the club.

"John knows my thoughts about him and I think the most important thing is this."

In addition to their 10-point lead at the top of the table, Chelsea have a favourable run-in. 

They have the two Manchester clubs to play but their final two home games are against Middlesbrough and Sunderland and manager Antonio Conte says: "I think we deserve to win (the league). 

"But there are 10 games to go. For sure our opponents don't want to accept that Chelsea are champions."

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce also spoke about Saturday's game as he takes his team to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte's runaway league leaders Chelsea. 

"You've got to give huge credit to Conte. He's gone back to what system he knows best and instilled confidence in the Chelsea players. Conte's one of the top coaches," the former England coach said during his press conference on Friday.

"We have nearly all the top coaches in our country now. I always like pitting my wits against the best and this is the best league in the world," Allardyce who said his team's run-in is the most difficult among the bottom-seven clubs states.