LONDON -- An exasperated Antonio Conte suggested that a member of Chelsea's medical staff should comment publicly about David Luiz's physical condition in order to disprove claims that he has been misleading people about the reason for the Brazilian's absence from his team.
Luiz has not featured for Chelsea since last month's 4-0 away win over Qarabag in the Champions League, with both the club and Conte insisting that the defender is currently being treated "day to day" at Cobham for inflammation in his right knee.
However, a perceived vagueness in the official description of the problem -- coupled with the fact that Conte made the "tactical decision" to drop a fit Luiz from his match day squad for Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester United last month amid reported tensions between the two men behind the scenes -- have led to suggestions that all may not be what it seems with Luiz's knee.
"To stop this [speculation], I think it's right to call the doctor and to have a [press] conference with him," Conte said. "I think this is a good idea. I understand that someone is thinking that I'm not telling the truth. I'm disappointed about this, but I can understand it.
"I'm disappointed because I like to tell you the truth at every moment. I like to tell you a bad truth rather than a good lie. I think we can call the doctor and organise a conference with the doctor for him to explain the medical situation of all my players and, in this way, I can avoid having to answer this question [over and over again].
"I can avoid the creation of this atmosphere of 'it's not true what he's telling us.' I am disappointed about this, but I will try to solve the situation."
Luiz's absence has enabled academy graduate Andreas Christensen to step up and establish himself with a series of assured performances in the middle of Conte's back three, and the Chelsea head coach reiterated that he will not tolerate any complaints from players who find themselves outside his starting XI.
"I think that every player must be very happy not to play for Chelsea, but to stay in the squad for Chelsea," he added. "It means you stay in a big team, in a great team. It's normal that, when you're in a great team, there is a lot of competition. The coach can decide only for 11 players. This is normal.
"I don't like when you ask me if one player is not happy or if I have to find something to make him happy. I think we must be happy because we are living this atmosphere. We are doing a fantastic job. We earn a lot of money.
"They must be very, very, very happy whether they play or not play. I understand that every player wants to play, this is normal. But we must be very, very, 1,000 times happy to have this job and this life. Me and my family, and the players and their families."
Asked if Luiz could have a particularly hard time winning his starting spot back from Christensen, Conte replied: "I have to make the best decision for the team and the club. For sure, we have to play a lot of games and there is space, the opportunity, to play games for every player.
"Until now, my players -- every player -- have all played a lot of games. We have to play every three days and it's right to make rotations and give opportunities to every player."