Chelsea confident Branislav Ivanovic will sign new contract
Chelsea are increasingly confident that Branislav Ivanovic will formally agree a further extension to his contract following positive negotiations over a deal that could stretch to 2018.
The situation had been deadlocked over Ivanovic’s desire for a two-year deal and Chelsea’s policy of only one-year extensions for those players above the age of 30.
Ivanovic is 31 and it is understood that a compromise has now been reached whereby Ivanovic extends for one more year but then has the option of an additional year should he play a certain number of matches.
Despite a dip in form, Ivanovic has still played 20 games this season and provided the assist on Wednesday night for Chelsea’s first goal against West Bromwich Albion.
He has won every major club trophy since joining Chelsea 10 years but his situation had been attracting the interest of both Inter Milan and Galatasaray.
Chelsea must also soon decide whether to offer captain John Terry another one-year contract although their priority this month is to strengthen their striker options.
Diego Costa has looked revived under Guus Hiddink but the new manager has seen little of Loic Remy due to injury while Falcao is out for at least another month. It has left Patrick Bamford, who is currently training with the Under-21s, and Bertrand Traore for cover but Chelsea are now exploring their outside options.
They have an interest both in West Brom’s Saido Berahino and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
Hiddink is adamant that Remy and Falcao will not be leaving. “We have this multitude of games,” said Hiddink. “I hope Remy picks it up although he was shortly in training, a week. It's short, that's true. He [Remy] will stay until the end of the season.”
Asked if he expected the club to move quickly for a striker, Hiddink said: “It’s not good to talk when you are thinking. Why shall we go public? If, suppose something is going on, it can be harmful when you go public.
"We must not go into this danger when something happens with one or two strikers. The more the window is open the more we have to shut our own little window.”
Owner Roman Abramovich has been at the club’s Cobham training base in recent days. “I have good contact here with the technical board and others,” said Hiddink. “They are open to options. People come here and watch training and have normal conversations.”