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Conte: ‘Roma and Napoli won’t let us relax’

Antonio Conte admits that Roma and Napoli’s transfer work this month means he cannot relax in the second half of the season with Juventus.

The Bianconeri are on a club record run of 11 straight League wins and lead Serie A by eight points, but are not expected to take any action in this month’s window, in stark comparison to Roma in second and Napoli in third.

“Do I agree with our strategy this market? I think there is nothing for me to answer, partly because those who have had to respond, have. So, I look to the director general [Beppe Marotta]’s response,” mused Conte to reporters today.

“As I say, I am the Coach and so I try to coach the players that the club make available to me.

“The fact that our rivals, in spite of having achieved something extraordinary – I repeat, Roma and Napoli have reached record points tallies – are reinforcing further, it definitely leaves me unable to relax, because we have to keep up an extraordinary pace to maintain our position.

“That they are reinforcing is certainly not a positive thing. I also see the second half of the season as a busy schedule and therefore we must hold a lot of attention.

“Because, whilst I read that only we can lose the Scudetto, or that the title is already Juve’s, I believe that this is said by those who have never won anything in their life.

“It is why winning is always very difficult, even when you are eight points ahead with seven weeks until the end. That has happened to me in losing and winning title races.”

Conte was asked if he looked at Napoli in particular with envy, from the summer being able to reinvest €60m taken from Edinson Cavani back into their team, and if something similar could be achieved for Juve in selling Paul Pogba next summer.

“First, I would not have €60m ‘available to me’, otherwise who knows where I would be (laughs). And as I have said, this is a question for our director general [Beppe Marotta], for the club, on possible strategies.

“I really like to talk about football, so it is right that the market is handled by the director and the club.”