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Published: 16:06 | 9/9/16

Conte: Deadline day decision to sign Luiz


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that the decision to re-sign David Luiz was only made on deadline day once the defender’s availability became known.

The Brazilian defender returned to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain for £34m in a surprise deadline day move after Conte’s initial efforts to reinforce his backline had been thwarted.

"When we take the decision about the players, we always take the decision together - me and the club," the Italian revealed.

"I told you that this transfer market was very difficult for us to reach our targets, but at the last minute, on the last day, there was this situation which was good for me and the club to improve the squad.

"For this reason, we bought David Luiz. We invested in David, and I'm very happy. We took a player with a great personality, good technique and who likes to play.

"I like to play football and I like defenders who like to play football. We know that David can improve in defensive situations, but it's good and I'm very happy he has come here.

"He's a good guy, a positive guy for the changing room. I'm very pleased for this."

Luiz spent two years with PSG and has been criticised in the past for some erratic performances, but Conte believes he has the potential to become one of the best defenders in the world.

"I think every player, until the end of their career, can improve," the manager added.

"Even when you are 32, 33 or 36 you can always improve. I tell you this from my experience as a footballer.

"David Luiz is 29 - a fantastic age for him to become one of the best defenders in the world.

"I'm seeing great commitment from him. He wants to play for Chelsea. This is a great opportunity for him - and for us - to improve.

"I think that the coach must improve his players. I think that's the most important thing for me - not only to win, lose or draw. To improve your players and to work. To work on weaknesses and make the players stronger.

"We have bought David Luiz because we need a centre-back. In this squad, there were Cahill and Terry, and sometimes we adapt Branislav Ivanovic in this role.

"But we needed centre-backs so, for that reason, we bought him. I know David Luiz has played in midfield before but, in my mind now, that is not an idea for us.

"I think this squad can play 3-4-3, not 3-5-2 like the national team in Italy and Juventus but, because of the characteristics of the players, we can play 3-4-3."

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