Antonio Conte has claimed that the future of Oscar and Cesc Fabregas are secure at Chelsea despite the two midfielders having played a secondary role with the Blues since his summer arrival to Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, the Italian boss suggested that he doesn't need to bring any more players to West London during the January transfer window as he believes the squad is already good enough to achieve "something important" this season.
Oscar started the first five Premier League games of the campaign as Conte opted to use the Brazilian alongside Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kante as part of his original 4-3-3 formation. However, the 25-year-old midfielder has disappeared from the line-up since the manager switched to his favourite 3-4-3 system, having failed to start a league game since the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on 16 September.
But Conte has ruled out that possibility, claiming that the Brazilian remains a big part of his plans for the future.
"Oscar's future is Chelsea, full stop," Conte said as quoted by ESPN. "For me, Oscar is an important player in the squad. He's in good form. It's logical I have to take the starting XI every week, but Oscar is a great player. For me, he stays at Chelsea.
"It's important that this message arrives for all. But Oscar will stay with us because I consider him an important player for Chelsea."
Fabregas' situation is similar. The former Barcelona and Arsenal star was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window. But the Spaniard has only started one Premier League in the defeat to Arsenal since the arrival of Conte to West Lodon, having since been on the sidelines due to a muscle injury.
Reports in Italy have claimed that AC Milan may be interested in taking advantage of the situation to lure him to the Serie A while other sources has also linked him with West Ham.
However, Conte, who confirmed that the Spaniard is back available to face Middlesbrough on Sunday, said: "The same speech as for Oscar. I anticipate this question."
Roman Abramovich is reportedly ready to give Conte some funds to address the shortage of options in his squad during the January transfer window in a bid to help him push for the Premier League title. However, Conte believes that the likes of Oscar and Fabregas could play a big role through the season instead to cope with the injuries of the starting players.
"We have a complete squad. It's normal that, during a season, it can happen that there are some injuries. But now we have a good squad to have some substitutions if there are some injuries," he said. "I see a chance to build something important with Chelsea here, a new method and philosophy. These are the most important things.
"Then it's logical, when you play this championship, that you want to fight until the end. To win the title, or for a place in the Champions League. But, for me now, I don't talk about this. It's important now to work with the players, to continue to build something of important for Chelsea for the present and the future."