"Matic knows very well what I think about him - the importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team", Conte said.
"I can't think of a reason why Chelsea would sell him", Neville told Sky Sports. "The importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team, but sometimes you must accept this insane transfer market. But he is a great loss for us". He's a very select player who's a top, top striker, but when the position goes so far it's hard to put it back.
No new Chelsea signing is under more pressure than Alvaro Morata, brought in for a club-record initial fee of £58m from Real Madrid to replace the unsettled Diego Costa as the focal point of Conte's attack.
The champions have so far signed the likes of Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata and Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, but Conte has insisted Chelsea still to strengthen before the transfer window closes on August 31.
The 24-year-old scored 25 goals in 36 games in the Premier League last season to underline his status as one of the division's leading strikers.
"This league is not easy". I hope to be able to improve our squad. We want to be competitive and we want to fight for the title again. "It's a great challenge for us to try and retain the title, but we are working hard".
Matic's departure will force Conte to accelerate Bakayoko's progress into the starting XI when he returns to fitness. He was good in some games, inexperienced in others.
"There are a lot of variables that aren't easy but from the outside, it does seem odd to let that player go to a direct rival - and he will improve them".
"He was what we wanted him to be, to move the ball in a simple way to give balance to the team to start building from the back and he's a player with great experience, many years at the highest level and good experience good stability". It's a very tough league and he'll have to stand up to that.