Antonio Conte suggests omission of Chelsea stalwart could be long-term

Jamie Carragher feels player power has been a problem at Chelsea for years

Jamie Carragher feels player power has been a problem at Chelsea for years

Luiz's replacement, Denmark worldwide Andreas Christensen, impressed in the centre of defence, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku struggling to get the better of him.

"It's simple", Conte said.

"He's not been playing well", Wilkins told Premier League Daily. Until, that is you realise Conte is somewhat prone to answering many questions with a quiet "err, I don't know", as he searches for the English to give a reasoned response.

"Conte has been quick to offload any revolting players in the past, and if the club's hierarchy continue to back the Italian, it would come as no surprise to see Luiz shipped in the January transfer window at just 6/4". His accusation was angrily denied by Chelsea, but no alternative explanation was offered and the midfielder remained a glorified spectator before joining Tianjin TEDA in January.

The Brazilian was a shock omission from the team that won 1-0 on Sunday, with Andreas Christensen taking his place in the starting XI and Ethan Ampadu his place in the squad.

Conte, as expected, played down talk of a rift and said it was merely a tactical decision.

Yes, reporters were probably right to sniff a bit of blood in the water at Luiz's demotion not to the bench, but to the stands.

The Brazil worldwide was left out of the matchday squad for the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, with Alvaro Morata heading in the victor after 55 minutes.

"Manchester United is a really good team".

And Antonio Conte's fiery reaction to the result led to a bust-up with Luiz.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is investigating whether there is a growing problem between manager Antonio Conte and the players. Now that he is gone, it will be interesting to see how their relationship pans out.

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