ANTONIO CONTE describes his way of management as being like delivering a line from The Godfather.
The Italian may have been crowned Premier League champion with Chelsea but he is trying to build an empire.
And he knows from the Blues’ last title triumph how quickly glory can turn sour.
Last season’s 22-goal top scorer Diego Costa has been axed, Nemanja Matic can leave and talented young players have been sold as they are too impatient.
Conte is happy to let them sleep with the fishes to make sure Chelsea have a chance of challenging again.
He snapped: “The coach must be in total control of the dressing room, otherwise… ” He paused and calls it ‘morira’ in Italian, which means “will die” before finding the right phrase in English.
He added: “If this doesn’t happen you are preparing for death. If you lose control, anything can happen.
“You can see during the game anything can happen and probably you will be sacked in one or two months. Your end is decided.
“If you want an identity you need all players to go into your idea.
“Otherwise there is anarchy. Yes, anarchy.”
Conte has needed to show his authority during the summer.
Firstly, in the dressing room.
He says the decision to axe Costa was made in January and he infamously texted the striker later to say he was no longer in his plans.
In the transfer market his personal crusade has been to get players to cover for the talent heading out of Stamford Bridge.
But he also wants players who can follow his code — Conte’s football Omerta — a vow of silence to keep Chelsea winning.
With that in place, he reckons he can build on last season’s title and create a new era for the club.
But failure may see a repeat of two seasons ago when they finished 10th as they dismally defended their title under ex-boss Jose Mourinho.
He said: “Every team has to understand what their ambitions are.
“If their ambitions are to win or fight for the title or try to win the Champions League, then you must buy expensive players.
“Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple.
“Now, if you want to compete to fight for the title in England — and there has been a miracle with Leicester and with us, because we won the title with only 13 players — you have to be strong.
“You must have the best players but expensive players are sometimes not enough.
“Two seasons ago showed this.”
Sitting in the lobby lounge of the team hotel, Conte is animated as he talks about transfers.
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
Neymar may go for £200million, Kylian Mbappe is valued at £161m.
But Conte just wants high-quality players, not Galacticos, in a crazy market. The former Italy manager takes an espresso to relax before giving a considered verdict.
He said: “If you need to buy four or five players, you need to spend £200m on average players, this is the truth.”
Conte’s rivals may not offer much sympathy to a manager who wants more players but also waved goodbye to the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake, Bertrand Traore and Christian Atsu for hefty fees.
Kurt Zouma, Izzy Brown and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have also left on season-long loans.
But Conte, 47, reckons youngsters are getting badly advised and are too impatient.
He said: “Sometimes I think that the young players lose their patience very quickly.
“A lot of time because of parents or the people around these players. I think their advisors are not right. The young player doesn’t want to suffer.
“They arrive at 20, 21 and say, ‘No, I want to play regular’ and a lot of time they don’t understand that they are at a great club and it’s difficult.
“At this level you must be stronger — and very good.
“Chalobah wanted to go to play and also Zouma and Traore, and Ake is a good guy and a lot of players wanted to go to play.”
For players who want to stay and fight for their place, Conte says they can be part of a globally recognised team.
Conte added: “I want people to recognise our team and identity, our idea of football.
“The club asked me this, to give my team an identity and an idea of football.
“To play good football and be a pleasure to watch.”
That is an offer they can’t refuse as the Godfather, Vito Corleone, might say.