Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has warmed to the idea of staying at Chelsea after he was praised by new boss Antonio Conte.
Juventus have identified Matic as their primary target to replace Manchester United bound Paul Pogba, but Conte has warned off his former club while hailing Matic’s potential, and the Serbian has since reacted in a positive manner to his manager’s public praise.
“What he said gave me a special feeling,” Matic was quoted saying on MailOnline. “It was important for me to know I am a big part of his plans. I was happy to hear that.
“Like every player here, I have a good relationship with the manager. I respect what he said about me and of course I liked what I heard.
“I have been at the club for two and a half years and have always given my best every day. Until I am here, I will continue to give everything to the team.”
Matic was key to Chelsea winning their fourth Premier League title in the 2014/15 season, but his form declined rapidly along with the majority of his team-mates, as Chelsea finished 10th place in the previous Premier League campaign.
“It was a strange year for all of us,” said the 27-year-old. “Of course I was not happy that we were 10th in the table. There were many things that made it hard for me but I can’t speak about it.
“In the last 10 years, Chelsea have also been there at the highest level. Last season we didn’t play well, we were 10th in the table, but this is the Premier League and what makes it so strong,” he added.
With Conte now in charge after finishing his managerial duties with Italy, Matic is confident the club will improve.
“We have worked together for two weeks and I can already see he is a great manager, with a great team of coaches. I am sure this team will improve under him.”