Antonio Conte will still be able to attract elite players to Chelsea despite a lack of Champions League football, according to interim boss Guus Hiddink.
Conte was this week confirmed as the club’s next manager on a three-year contract as he attempts to restore the west Londoners to the summit of English football.
The Blues endured a nightmare start to their campaign this term under Jose Mourinho, which eventually led to the sacking of the Portuguese tactician.
Hiddink, who was parachuted in to keep Chelsea in the Premier League, has been unable to secure top-four finish and a place in Europe’s premier club competition.
That will make his task of rebuilding the squad at Stamford Bridge all the more difficult, however Hiddink thinks Conte’s track record will hold plenty of sway in negotiations.
“It’s the choice of the club and when you look at his record he had a good spell at Juventus, where he won the title in Italy,” Hiddink said.
“That’s always good because this club is always keen to play for titles. It’s a big job regardless of the circumstances Chelsea have been in this year.
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“He is equipped, able and used to the pressure which is always on at big clubs to win titles.
“He was presented on Monday and requested to come and meet and shake hands with the players. Everyone met very briefly on Tuesday.
“When I came in 2009 there was also this transition, but the team was full in terms of the personalities and players who knew the culture of English football and the club.
“People like Lampard, Terry, Ballack, Essien.Now it’s a bit different and it’s not easy. But everyone is full of energy to get it restored.
“The CV of a manager can also attract players. He's showing he wants to come here knowing Chelsea will not play Champions League next year, but is showing that commitment. That might attract players as well.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea could be without as many as SIX first-team stars for Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.
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Hiddink used his Friday press conference to reveal Loic Remy, Eden Hazard, John Terry and Nemanja Matic are all sidelined through injury.
Diego Costa will also miss the game as he continues to serve his suspension while Gary Cahill is facing a late fitness test for the visit to the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea’s hot prospects, including the likes of Matt Miazga and Jake Clarke-Salter are on standby ahead of the journey to Wales, with Hiddink keen to promote youth.
“We have a few injured players so we will bring in some youngsters,” Hiddink explained.
“John Terry has a little problem with his achilles and has been training on the pitch by has not recovered.
“Hazard is still out. Matic is out. Remy is out and Costa is still out, of course.”