Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he is eager to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window while appearing to rubbish claims Manchester United are set to make an offer for Eden Hazard.

Conte has often bemoaned the size of his squad this season after missing out on a string of transfer targets during the summer transfer window. The Blues attempted to sign Kyle Walker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley and Fernando Llorente among others only for those plans to fall through with the manager now keen to see those failures rectified.

Reports suggest the Blues are still eager to sign Barkley from Everton after the attacking midfielder pulled out of a move to Stamford Bridge at the last minute on transfer deadline day. Juventus full-back Alex Sandro could now also be available, after Juventus rejected a number of bids from Stamford Bridge during the summer while Thomas Lemar, the subject of bids from Arsenal and Liverpool in late-August, is also firmly on the club's radar.

When quizzed on the subject of adding to his squad, Conte told a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Everton: "I think there is the possibility to improve the squad on the numerical aspect, I think it would be a good choice. But, at the same time, I am enjoying working with these players.

"At the moment, I am ready to continue working to play will all these players. They are showing me great commitment and I am very happy to work with these players. At the same time, if there is the possibility to improve our squad, I think the club will try to do this."

The Premier League champions could also be preparing for one or two exits with the futures of Brazilian duo David Luiz and Kenedy under scrutiny. Having lost his place in the first-team, the centre-half has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Arsenal while his younger compatriot is reportedly close to joining Newcastle United on loan.

When asked about the pair, Conte said: "I think the best way for me is not to read anything and only talk with the club. But there will be a lot of rumours now. We must be ready to face them while at the same time be ready to be focused on our game. We play every three days so it is not right for these rumours to disturb us."

Conte had a similar response when asked about a recent report linking Hazard with a £90m move to Old Trafford – tellingly taking the opportunity to point out a lot of transfer rumours relating to the club are not true.

"For sure, my players are very clever to be focused on this period, to play, to go game by game, not listen to these rumours. Also because a lot of these rumours are not true."

Eden Hazard
Reports this week have linked Hazard with a speculative move to Manchester United. Getty