Antonio Conte has given the clearest indication that he will be active in the upcoming January transfer window after imploring the Chelsea hierarchy to talk to him regarding strengthening the squad.

The Italian coach believes that strengthening the team is the only way the Blues can compete with Manchester City, who are runaway favourites to win the Premier League. Chelsea are currently in third place – 11 points behind Pep Guardiola's team.

Conte was not happy with the reigning English champions' summer transfer activity and is clearly keen to strengthen further in January. Despite calling for further reinforcements the former Juventus boss made it clear that he is happy to work with the current players and give it their best to defend the title.

The Blues have been linked with a number of players in recent weeks with the most recent being Borussia Dortmund's Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The striker is said to have fallen out with the German club and they are now willing to offload him in January.

"I think about this topic but it is better if my club ask me what I need to catch them up and then I will answer, but in a private way," Conte said ahead of the Blues' clash against Swansea City on Wednesday (29 November), as quoted by the Guardian.

"We are in November and now we have to fight with this squad and I want to repeat that I am very happy to work with these players and try to do our best [this season].

"If one day the club try to ask me something about this topic, I can give my opinion but at the same time I am very happy to work for this club with these players. The club knows very well we are trying to build something important for the present and for the future," the Italian coach explained further.

Conte, however, refused go into the plans in detail as he wants his team to remain focused on the games ahead. He is not giving up on the title despite City's imperious form, but is looking at more short-term targets.

The Italian revealed that his team's first objective is to overtake Manchester United, who are currently in second place – three points ahead of the reigning champions.

"Now is not the right moment to talk about this topic," Conte added. "We must be focused to go game by game and go with my players to take as many points as possible. To try to reduce this gap to Manchester United and then we have to try to do this with Manchester City."

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte is keen to strengthen his Chelsea squad when the transfer window opens in January Getty