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Nemanja Matić is a "terrific player" enthuses Manchester United captain Michael Carrick

Antonio Conte has labelled the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United as a "gross loss" in an apparent dig at Chelsea's decision to sell.

He said today: "Yes, we can (win the title), Europa League is not Champions League, obviously it is more difficult to win the Champions League than the Europa League but also motivation is higher, also my hard work last season to motivate the Europa League with ambition and commitment and responsibility, my work was hard at that level".

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"When a player leaves a club, you do not normally see a manager speak so glowingly about them", Neville told the Premier League launch show.

"I have to say that it is a unusual move, it really is, to sell to one of your main rivals".

"But sometimes you must accept this insane transfer market, and sometimes you must accept different decisions".

"There is very rarely such big transfers between champions to clubs that are challenging them and it is a odd move".

When asked about the exit of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and the future of forward Diego Costa, the Italian added; "Matic knows very well what I think about him".

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"No it is not ideal", he said.

"It's simple. I think I'm the coach of this team".

"Because there is one thing for certain - the club will be brutal with the manager at some point".

"There is a lot of games, it's a long season but I expect us to do well".

It all means Conte will be without four first team squad players for their opener against Burnley so the boss may have to call upon some of his youth players to make up the number on the bench.

Carrick was also impressed by the experience that Matic has in his career and feels that he'll be a key figure in the squad.

"So I would think that he would definitely want more, and I think they are probably short of where he wanted them to be at this stage of the season".

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