The Blues boss refused to confirm if the midfielder would remain at the club, but reiterated the Spaniard’s importance to his side ahead of Sunderland in the Premier League

Antonio Conte has refused to discuss the speculation regarding Cesc Fabregas as the Spaniard continues to be linked with a move to clubs in Serie A. 

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Fabregas has struggled to earn a consistent place in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield this season, with Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante nailing down regular spots during the Blues’s impressive nine-game winning run. 

However, the 29-year-old did start against Manchester City when Matic was injured and came off the bench to help Chelsea secure a 1-0 win in a tough match against West Brom at the weekend.

Despite Fabregas’ recent importance to Chelsea, Conte was unable to guarantee that he would block a move for his midfielder, if a bid came in from another club, with the likes of AC Milan and Roma linked with offers.

“In football, in my experience, it’s very difficult to guarantee always something,” Conte said at a press conference at Cobham Training Centre. 

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“So this is difficult. But Cesc is an important player for us. He played a key match against Manchester City, and played very well. In the last match he came on very well during the game. 

“Tomorrow I have still to decide the starting eleven, but Cesc is always a good choice, for me. He is an important player and in the squad of Chelsea. Now this is the reality.”