Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has insisted Zlatan Ibrahimovc is ‘one of the best players in the world’ ahead of his side’s trip to face Manchester United, live on Nissan Super Sunday.
The Blues travel to Old Trafford on looking for a victory which would put them within touching distance of the league title.
Ibrahimovic has scored 17 goals for fifth-place United in his maiden Premier League campaign, with the 35-year-old recently declaring himself Benjamin Button.
Conte admitted that he agrees with the former Sweden international, though he stopped short of saying he would get into the Chelsea side.
“No, no no no [in response to if any United players would get in the Chelsea team?]. It’s not a good question this because I think in football, my players are the best in the world and this must be so.”
“For sure at United there are a lot of great players, top players, but they are United players and I keep my players and I’m very happy to do this.”
“Yeah I agree [Ibrahimovic is Benjamin Button], but I always said this. I think now Zlatan is in the top form of his career because I think now he’s a great player.”
“He’s not only a finisher, he plays for the team, it’s good to have this type of player because he’s very good to play for the team.”
“For me he’s one of the best players in the world, Zlatan.”
Conte added how Chelsea will approach the game on Sunday and how they will deal with the threat of Ibrahimovic.
“We must have a good defensive organisation and pay attention because when he [Ibrahimovic] attacks the box he’s very dangerous, and also when he receives the ball, he’s dangerous,” Conte said.
“He’s a dangerous player! And for this reason I think my players must have great concentration, but also to stop the whole team, not just one player.”
Chelsea currently sit top of the table with a seven point cushion separating them from nearest rivals Tottenham.
United meanwhile are four points behind fourth-placed neighbours Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification.