The Chelsea forward is on the verge of a mega-money move to China that will net him almost £400,000-a-week.
That is an offer too good to refuse for both Oscar, who has hardly played this season, and Conte, who will have the bulk of the transfer fee to use on new signings.
But Conte insists he is sorry to see the 25-year-old Brazilian go because he’ll be leaving the best league in the world.
The Blues boss said: “The offer is amazing, incredible. For this reason, I think I can understand if some players say yes to this.
“But I think, also, that we are in the best league. Now, to arrive in the Premier League is a great opportunity for players and for coaches, to fight for the title against fantastic players and coaches.
“We started to play when we were children without money, and only for the passion”
Antonio Conte on Oscar’s decision to move to Shanghai
“England is the best in the world if you have ambition to test yourself against the other teams.
“The most important thing for us must be the passion for football. If you haven’t got that, it’s no good. No good. I repeat – this concept is very important.
“Before the money must be the passion, the passion for the sport, for football.
“We started to play when we were children without money, and only for the passion.
“Then, also, came money but the passion is more important than money, for me.
“Oscar is a really good player. I was very proud to have him in my squad and have him as my player.
“I’m proud of his attitude, his commitment and his behaviour, which have been fantastic. I have great respect for every decision made by a single player.
“If you ask me, ‘Are you sorry?’ then yes, I am sorry. I am sorry because he’s leaving as a really good player and a really good man. I must be honest about this. But, also, I understand him and his decision.”
Conte wants to sign a midfielder and a defender in January, and has been told he can spend the bulk of the money Shanghai SIPG are paying for Oscar if he wants.
Chelsea held talks this week over Atalanta’s £17m-rated Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, but have also enquired about Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj, who would cost around £10m.
The Blues remain interested in Roma pair Kostas Manolas and Radja Nainggolan along with Hoffenheim centre-back Niklas Sule.
Chelsea, who will welcome Eden Hazard back from a knee injury, can set a new club record of 11 wins in a row in a single season with victory at Crystal Palace today.
But Conte said: “This situation is a good situation for the opponent because, now, when they are playing against you, they have nothing to lose.