Antonio Conte might be unwilling to talk about next season, but Chelsea are pressing ahead with their plans for 2018-19.
The club have unveiled their home kit for next season, with Eden Hazard front and centre of the promotional campaign despite persistent speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid this summer.
Scattered red and white horizontal lines adorn the predominantly blue shirt — a bold design feature that is already proving controversial with some supporters, but which Chelsea claim “takes inspiration from the famous and much-loved jerseys of the 1980s and ’90s.”
The stage is lit.
Introducing our 2018/19 @nikefootball home kit!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 11, 2018
A small lion, taken from the Chelsea badge, sits on the back of the neckline, while “Blue is the Colour” can be found on the inside of the jersey — presumably to help fans who forget the words to the club’s anthem.
The kit, Chelsea’s second since switching from adidas to Nike, is on sale now and will be worn for the first time against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday with Champions League qualification on the line.
We will know pretty quickly whether it can be considered a lucky charm…
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.