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Conte readies Chelsea for sterner tests after FA Cup stroll

Conte readies Chelsea for sterner tests after FA Cup stroll

The Blues are looking to sign a new shot stopper to provide cover for current number one Thibaut Courtois as Chelsea back-up Asmir Begovic seeks a move away from Stamford Bridge before the close of the January transfer window.

Ivanovic has been linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion, and the presence of manager Tony Pulis at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea's 4-0 FA Cup fourth round victory over Brentford on Saturday has served to increase the speculation.

"The FA Cup is a good opportunity to see the improvement of these young players", said Conte.

Chelsea's display of its squad strength bodes well for the pursuit of a double.

However, Ake stood out as a key man in Chelsea's victory and provided himself with the ideal platform to truly kickstart his career at Stamford Bridge.

"I hope the same thought is in the mind of my players".

But when asked what the chances of Ivanovic staying at Chelsea past this month are, Conte said on Friday: "I don't know the chances".

"On the first day I was back he called me into his office and explained the different positions he sees me in and what he expects from me when I play there", Ake said of Conte.

Begovic wants to quit the Premier League leaders to join Bournemouth, who have made a £10m bid.

Brentford - who earned a replay against their illustrious neighbours when they met in 2013 - emerged for the second half with renewed vigour and Lasse Vibe should have done better when the ball fell for him six yards out, with Asmir Begovic smothering at the Dane's feet.

Numerous players have been celebrating on social media with skipper John Terry - who made his return to the starting eleven today - hailing the "great win" on his official Instagram account. "If I can help my player to be happy I try to do this". But it's important to find the right solution for Asmir, for the club, for me, because I repeat he's a really important player for me on and off the pitch.

'If not, I will continue to work hard and support everyone and the team.

Chelsea are title favourites as they boast an eight point lead, although they face tough games against Liverpool and Arsenal this week.


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