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Branislav Ivanovic Signs New Five And A Half Year Deal

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Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has just signed a new deal with the club that will keep him at Stamford Bridge for the next five seasons, Chelsea FC have announced today. There was some concern that the defender would be lured away in one of the upcoming transfer windows, but there'd also been a lot of noise about him being keen to stay with Chelsea - his agent had been talking extension since at least last autumn. Either way, it's great to see one of our most reliable players putting pen to paper and signing a contract extension.

These things take a little time but my first vision was always to stay with Chelsea, there were not a lot of problems because I wanted to stay, the club wanted me to stay and I want to thank everyone who helped with the deal, I am very happy with that.

-Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea defender. Source: ChelseaFC.com

Ivanovic is a possible long-term partner for new signing David Luiz as well as being able to provide exemplary play at right-back. The Serbian international, who turns 27 later this month, has the most appearances of any Chelsea outfield player in the 2010/11 season, and has scored eight goals since joining the Blues from Lokomotiv Moscow in the 07/08 winter transfer window.

The January rumours indicate that the deal is in the range of £60-70K per week, but we don't have any confirmation of that figure yet. If it's in that area, it was definitely a good deal for the club, coming in at less than £3.4M per year for his services. Keeping him around long term was rightly a high priority for Chelsea, as he's one of the few regulars not on the wrong side of 30. Excellent work to all involved in getting him extended, and we're all looking forward to seeing him in blue for the better part of the decade.