A recent summer tradition - beloved by tabloids all around Europe - the annual Branislav Ivanovic summer transfer rumor cycle has sadly closed its doors for business early this year. Yet we're ... bearly ... halfway through July; there was so much more mileage to get out of it! Just scratching the surface with hints of Barcelona sniffing around and Monaco looking to splash the cash. Disappointing. What happened to rerunning the Real Madrid stories from last year? How about a mention or two of PSG? Or Anzhi? Did the money suddenly dry up in Russia?
So yeah, Ivanovic is staying. Surprise! Since all the rumors about him leaving were unsubstantiated at best, it's only fitting that the following quotes are from Mr. Closely-Placed-Anonymous as well:
"All being well, Branislav would like to be a Chelsea player for the remainder of his playing days at the highest level"
"He is definitely staying at Chelsea. He loves Mourinho's style and is keen to play for the new coach."
"He has been told that he does have a future at the club and, while there was the possibility of him going to Barcelona, he is happier staying in London."
-A. Nonymous de Source; source: ClubCall
And there was much rejoicing! Sing it loud and proud, Bane shall be Blue forever. So, until next summer (and the summer after that since his contract expires only in 2016), Ivanovic is staying at Chelsea. Well, no [shoe] Sherlock.
How about we end with a few real words from the man who did the Drogba for Chelsea's European Cup final this past season. Even though Ivanovic is slowly becoming one of the "Old Guard" - no, not the old Old Guard, the new Old Guard - he just missed out on the privilege of being managed by Mourinho the first time around. So what does Serbia's captain and player of the year think of the Special Happy Only One?
We had our first meeting with Mourinho. He looks very impressive which is very pleasing.
-Branislav Ivanovic; source: Sky Sports
The management and coaching has been impressive, and all the work has a high intensity and is very serious, which is what we need for the games. A lot of the work is based on fitness and physicality but it is all specific to football and it is very good.
-Branislav Ivanovic; source: Chelsea FC
I guess he's impressed then. Well, aren't we all... Smile!