Tight transfer budget predicted for Conte successor at Chelsea

Cahill remains Chelsea's captain, a role he took on full-time following John Terry's departure previous year and Conte suggested a period of adjustment has been necessary in the club icon's absence.

Chelsea outcast David Luiz may not play for Chelsea again this season, Blues head coach Antonio Conte admitted as he revealed the Brazilian defender is still struggling with a knee injury that has been bothering him all season.

But Blues boss Conte believes Cahill deserves the chance to re-establish himself. He's in good physical condition. Having started regularly when available for the Three Lions' qualifying matches, after the turn of the year Cahill was deselected by national team manager Gareth Southgate for friendlies with Netherlands and Italy.

"We are talking about an important player for Chelsea". Now I think it's right to give an opportunity to Gary to play more.

"To play in the World Cup on European Championships, it's important to have players with great experience because the pressure will be strong for everyone".

"But, at the same time, I have always shown great respect for Southgate".

The same article states that Seri is a long-term £30m target for the 2017 Premier League champions but the Blues face competition from the Premier League and La Liga. "I think he deserves this".

'This season has been important for players to try to take on leadership. He may be in the twilight of his career at the Bridge and indeed on the worldwide stage, but his experience and the motivation for one last hurrah for club and country could make him a serious asset to Conte as he bids to salvage something memorable from Chelsea's otherwise disappointing season.

  • Steve Townsend