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Nathan Ake hoping to earn regular Chelsea spot after Antonio Conte chat

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.

The Serbia worldwide is set complete the move within 24 hours, after which he will join up with the Zenit squad in Spain for pre-season training.

Nathan Ake says he is hopeful of winning a regular first-team place at Chelsea as Antonio Conte has told him that "age doesn't matter" when it comes to picking his side.

Chelsea's display of its squad strength bodes well for the pursuit of a double. But with Chelsea set for a return to Champions League football next season, they are declaring themselves ready to provide the greater squad depth that will be required. "It would be a waste not to play and show people what I can do". "He wants to play every game but knows our situation and if we are able to find a good replacement he can go - but if not, he will stay with us and fight with us to win the title".

With less than half an hour gone, the Premier League leaders had seemingly wrapped the tie up already.

But the Italian is still to decide whether Charly Musonda and Kenedy will play for Chelsea this season. It is also believed that Chelsea will only allow Begovic to leave should they manage to find a replacement for him, with Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordan linked with a move to the Blues.

Promoting players from the club academy to its first team has always been an ambition of owner Roman Abramovich, but to this point one that has been largely unsuccessful.

'I find it very hard, not playing for a long time and that's something that I would like to do.

"I think it is better to put this question to the player. Then I will have the training session [on Monday afternoon] and, after the training session, I'll see about this".

Chelsea are title favourites as they boast an eight point lead, although they face tough games against Liverpool and Arsenal this week. "We have to wait until tomorrow and see the situation".

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