LONDON -- Antonio Conte has warned his Chelsea players to remain focused on the present and not indulge transfer speculation, amid reports that Barcelona are weighing up a January approach for Victor Moses.
Moses has been one of the biggest success stories of Conte's time in charge at Stamford Bridge, reinventing himself as a wing-back in Chelsea's new 3-4-3 system and producing a series of impressive performances during the six-game winning streak that has seen the Blues surge to the top of the Premier League.
A report in Spanish newspaper Sport on Friday claimed that Barcelona have scouted Moses three times this season and are considering him as a potential solution to their right-back problem.
But Conte believes it is too early to talk about the January transfer window, and wants his players to concentrate on maintaining their recent form.
"About Victor, I repeat, it's important to be focused on the present," Conte told a news conference. "It's important to be focused game by game. Now we are doing very well. But, for me, I don't want to think that my players see 'so long' [into the future].
"I like to think my players are focused on the present, not the future so long-term. We have just started in this league and, after a period, two bad defeats, we won six games in a row. This is important, now, to continue this, to be focused, to work for the present. Not to look at the future."
Chelsea hope to extend their six-match winning run in the Premier League against rivals Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and, speaking ahead of the match, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino claimed that Conte's success this season has been partly due to the Blues' absence from European football.
Conte admits the situation has given him more time to work with his players, but insists that Chelsea would be delighted to have the potential distraction of Champions League football.
"For sure, for me, it's important to have more days to work on my ideas because I'm working with these players at this club only for a few months," Conte said.
"When you arrive and you have your idea of football, a new philosophy, it's important to have the possibility to work [with the players]. This can be an advantage, to have more days to work. But, for sure, I'd prefer to play the Champions League. I think the players at the club would say the same."