Antonio Conte has no intention of letting John Terry leave Chelsea during the transfer window, despite reports he could be loaned out.
Terry has been forced to watch much of the 2016-17 campaign from the sidelines as David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta have occupied the three defensive positions under Conte.
The 36-year-old has only made five appearances in the Premier League and was sent off after being handed a start in the FA Cup win over Peterborough United last weekend.
Bournemouth had been linked with a loan move for the veteran – a move Eddie Howe denied – but Conte is keen to keep hold of his club captain for the remainder of the campaign.
“John is an important player for this team, for this squad, for me,” Conte told a media conference ahead of their weekend trip to Leicester City.
“His work on the pitch, his work in the changing room outside is fantastic. This shows he’s a great player, but also a great man, and for me it’s fantastic to have a person like him to help me in my first season in Chelsea.
“For this reason, I repeat, John stays with us, is our player, is in my squad. And when I see the situation I want and he deserves to play, he’ll play. He remains a really important player for me.”
One Chelsea defender who was loaned to Bournemouth is Nathan Ake. The 21-year-old impressed with the Cherries and has since been recalled by his parent club.
Conte has been impressed with Ake in training this week but may wait before handing him a first Chelsea start of the season.
“Nathan, I’m very pleased to stay with us because I think in this one year and a half he’s improved a lot,” the Italian added.
“This showed that it’s important when a young player born in the academy, to go and to play on loan and then when they are ready to come back and play with us. I think Ake is a really good example. He’s a good player. Very young, but with a good personality.
“It’s important now to work with us. He trained with us only a few days. Now it’s important to have a bit of time for him to go into our idea of football, to adapt, then to take him into the right consideration.
“But Nathan is in our squad. Then I think tomorrow I have to take the decision if he comes on the bench or not. I think he needs to work, also this week with us, to go into the idea of football. But the first impressions are very positive, for me and also for the team-mates.”
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