Conte rules out sale of star Chelsea pair

Chelsea cannot afford to sell either Thibaut Courtois or Eden Hazard if they want to challenge for trophies, insists manager Antonio Conte.

The Chelsea futures of both Courtois and Hazard is the subject of speculation on the eve of the January transfer window, amidst doubts over their contract situations.

Goalkeeper Courtois is a target for Real Madrid, with his children still living in the Spanish capital after his time on loan at Atletico.

And Hazard’s father claimed that the Belgian forward has rejected a contract extension, as he continues to be linked with a move to Real.

But Conte said: “You are talking about two important players for us.

“It will be very important to continue with these types of players especially for your ambition to try to compete for something important.

“It is important to try and improve your team, to strengthen and not to sell the best players.”