May 4, 2018

Conte: Salah Sale Not Down To Me  (Sky Sports)

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte has distanced himself from Chelsea's decision to sell Mohamed Salah, saying he was not consulted about the decision.

The 25-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge in January 2014, but left a year later on loan after failing to impress at the club.

Salah then left Chelsea permanently in the summer of 2016 - the same time Conte joined the club - but the Italian says his departure was not his choice.

Conte said: "No one asked me about him. I don't want to take this responsibility! I would be in trouble.

"I think this season for Salah is fantastic. We are talking about a really good player. I knew him in Italy but this type of season would be very difficult to predict.

"We are talking about a character with a specific characteristic. I am seeing him very clinical. Every chance he has he takes the opportunity."

Salah's current side Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and Conte believes it is a good opportunity for his side to close on a place in the top four of the Premier League.

The Blues know they will have to beat Liverpool if they are to stand any chance of catching their opponents in the league - they are six points behind, with a far inferior goal difference and only three matches to play.

However, Chelsea will not have played for eight days going into the clash at Stamford Bridge, whereas Liverpool travelled to Italy to play Roma for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

Conte believes this could benefit Chelsea, saying: "This could be a good opportunity for us. As I said a lot of times in the last three games, if we want to keep the hope alive we have to win.

"We have to get three points. Liverpool are a good team - it won't be easy.

"I think now our target, our focus is to finish in the best possible way, to try to fight for a place in the Champions League.

"The situation is not in our hands, but we have to try and start with three points against Liverpool. Then we'll see what happens. Our focus is to finish this season in the best possible way."

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