Kepa and Kovacic, how happy are you that they are there and are they fit to start?
“I’m very happy for both, because the Courtois situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid. So we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world now.
“But we bought a young goalkeeper, I think one of the most important among young goalkeepers in Europe, so I’m really happy. Happy, too, with Kovacic because I think he has the characteristics for us. So I’m really happy and now, I think, the squad is complete.”
Can Kepa be better than Thibaut Courtois? What do you like about Kovacic?
“Not at the moment. Not at the moment, for sure. But he’s [Kepa’s] very young, 23 I think. So I hope he can improve very fast. But, for the moment, he’s not Courtois, of course. Kovacic, I think, is a very technical player and he likes to play between the lines of the opponent. For us, that could be very important.”
What did you make of Courtois’ behaviour this week? Will Eden Hazard stick around?
“I don’t know. I think there were some personal reasons, so I cannot go on personal reasons. I don’t know them. Hazard is with us. I think, definitely. Not a problem. I have spoken with him three or four times for everything. He never said something about the market, so I think he’s very happy to stay here.”
How concerned are you that European clubs can buy Willian and Hazard still?
“But I think it’s impossible. It’s impossible because, here, the market is closed. We cannot change important players now, so I think it’s impossible.”
Will you loan more players?
“Now I think the squad is too large, so I think some players have to go on loan. But I don’t know who at the moment. I prefer to have 23 / 24 players, and three or four very young players. No more.”
Could Bakayoko go?
“Maybe, I don’t know at this moment. Maybe. You have to ask the club at this moment. I want to think only about the match in these days.”
Have you discussed Hazard’s contract with him?
“No, I don’t want to discuss about contracts. It’s not my job. My job is on the pitch, to improve my players. My job is to try to win matches. It’s not to sign new contracts. But I have seen a player who is very happy to stay here, so I think it will be no problem, the new contract.”
Who will be captain?
“For tomorrow, I think Azpilicueta. But it’s not the final decision. I want to know well the players. I want to know well the man. Then, when my idea is clear, I will make a decision. The final one.”
Will Kepa debut tomorrow?
“I don’t know. He is in the players’ list for tomorrow. But I have to decide.”