Antonio Conte rates Virgil van Dijk as a "really good player" but has stopped short of confirming Chelsea's interest in Southampton's in-demand defender.
The Netherlands international was an unused substitute as Chelsea beat Southampton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday, thanks to Marcos Alonso's free-kick at the end of the first half.
Van Dijk was dropped after Southampton's 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Leicester City last time out and Mauricio Pellegrino's side did not appear to miss the centre-back, who handed in a transfer request in the last window.
Liverpool were forced to apologise after being accused of making an illegal approach for Van Dijk, while Chelsea are among the other clubs to have been linked with the 26-year-old.
But Conte, whose team have won eight of their last 10 Premier League matches, would not say if Chelsea could make a move for Van Dijk.
"As you know very well, I don't like to talk about other players of the other team," Conte told reporters at a news conference.
"It's not good. It's a lack of respect for my players, especially, and then for the other team, in this case for Van Dijk.
"He's a really good player. He had a bad injury, but I think he recovered very well. I wish him the best."
Southampton manager Pellegrino welcomed Van Dijk back to first-team action after he trained separately from the group for a period after putting in his transfer request.
The Argentine - who accused unnamed players of lacking "commitment" after the 4-1 midweek loss to Leicester - was unable to confirm whether Van Dijk will remain at the club through the January transfer window.
"Obviously Virgil is an important player," Pellegrino said after the game. "It always depends how they are, the energy they've got in every training session. A lot of things make an important player.
"I will repeat that I can't control the market. I'm not the owner of the player. I can have my opinion and this I have given to the technical director, to the chairman. After the board can decide altogether which is the best for the team.
"I can't control this. I will recommend to try to keep our best player here in the club. The club was clear in the beginning and I have the same opinion."
|Outcast Benzema delights in France win|
|Final a triumph in itself given Croatia´s off-field turmoil|
|Anderson laments Wimbledon final nerves|
|Deschamps joins elite club, Mbappe second to Pele - the best stats from the World Cup final|
|Belgium´s Courtois wins World Cup Golden Glove|
|Collarbone fracture confirmed for ´devastated´ Porte|
|World Cup final player ratings: Griezmann, Mbappe inspire France as Croatia fall short|
|World Cup winner Giroud ends tournament without shot on target|
|Modric wins World Cup Golden Ball|
|Mbappe wins World Cup Young Player award|
|Deschamps redeemed as France win World Cup final for the ages|
|France 4 Croatia 2: Twitter Report|
|Tomlin optimistic over Bell contract|
|Kane wins World Cup Golden Boot|
|Ajax keen on Blind deal - Van der Sar|
|France 4 Croatia 2: Pogba and Mbappe seal thrilling World Cup triumph|
|Anderson would have played another 21 hours to reach Wimbledon final|
|Djokovic delighted to crown ´comeback´ with Wimbledon glory|
|World Cup final interrupted by pitch invaders - Pussy Riot claim responsibility|
|Djokovic´s grass-court U-turn pays ultimate dividends with Wimbledon title|
|Mandzukic makes World Cup history with early own goal|
|Dominant Djokovic beats Anderson to regain Wimbledon title|
|Everybody said I´m done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory|
|´Big party´ for Marquez after Sachsenring success|
|Hazard enjoys Belgium´s welcome home|
|Ex-AC Milan president Berlusconi conflicted over Ronaldo to Juventus|
|Spain did not contact Martinez over head coach vacancy|
|Maybe the VAR was watching The Simpsons! - RSL coach Petke slams MLS officials|
|Cubs´ Darvish hopes to return by next weekend|
|France and Croatia name unchanged sides for World Cup final|
|Marquez maintains Sachsenring dominance|
|Courtois claims World Cup has boosted his value|
|Buffon beaten on difficult PSG debut|
|Vince called up for Headingley decider|
|Farah inspires Tigers win over Dragons, Warriors and Roosters triumph|
|Crash forces Porte out of Tour for second year running|
|Ronaldo considered Napoli move, says De Laurentiis|
|Mafi arrested for allegedly assaulting Rebels team-mate|
|Everybody is welcome - Croatia pitch for neutral support in World Cup final|
|West Ham seal club-record swoop for Felipe Anderson|
|Rooney applauds England for capturing fans´ imagination|
|Krajicek urges Anderson to go for broke in Wimbledon final|
|Wimbledon 2018: Djokovic v Anderson in Opta numbers|
|Kohli defends Dhoni after Lord´s boos|
|Wimbledon finalist Djokovic can win the next six majors, claims Krajicek|
|We´re ´blessed´ to watch Mbappe, says Kaka|
|Bogaerts hits walk-off grand slam to deliver Red Sox win over Blue Jays|
|Cardinals dismiss Matheny, name Shildt interim manager|
|Pacquiao knocks out Matthysse to win welterweight title|
|Didulica expects ´cagey´, tight World Cup final|
|MLS Review: Rooney impresses on debut, Galaxy leave it late|
|Truex dominates to win Quaker State 400 again|
|Kim in control at John Deere Classic|
|Braves place closer Vizcaino back on DL, manager concerned about injury|
|Long on Eagles having Wentz, Foles: It´s really a dream|
|Effenberg: I´d prefer Mandzukic over Neymar|
|Courtois open to Chelsea stay amid Madrid links|
|Rays´ Ramos won´t play All-Star Game due to hamstring injury|
|Gary Sanchez injury update: Yankees catcher on track to return after All-Star break|
|Windies crush Bangladesh again to seal series win|
|Klopp backs Lovren´s lofty ´best in the world´ claim|
|Root welcomes ´ruthless´ England display|
|Martinez on target in impressive Inter debut|
|Kerber puts Wimbledon triumph down to 2017 hardships|
|Wimbledon diary: Kerber´s ghost bus and Space Jam on Centre Court|
|Hot finish sees Dantorp lead as Fitzpatrick and Fowler loom|
|Djokovic always believed in rediscovering best form|
|Wimbledon runner-up Serena might steer clear of US Open doubles|
|Root blossoms as England reign at Lord´s to level ODI series|
|Hazard clouds Chelsea future amid Real Madrid rumours|