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Branislav Ivanovic to be offered pre-contract by Inter Milan in January -- report

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The 2015-16 season could be the swan song for Branislav Ivanovic in a Chelsea kit. The defender's contract with the club is set to expire in the summer, and the sharks are already circling in the waters to snag him for themselves. According to the Evening Standard, Inter Milan are reportedly all set to offer the 31-year-old a pre-contract in January when the transfer window opens.

The Serie A stalwarts are no stranger to cherry picking Premier League stars with expiring contracts. They managed to secure the services of former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic in the same fashion in the winter of 2014, so this move makes sense in that regard.

It's no secret that Brana is entering the downside of his career as he's shown noticeable regression this season in his performances after a stellar 2014-15 campaign. Moving to a league like Serie A where the pace isn't as grueling as it is in the Premier League also makes sense to prolong his career.

One possible deciding factor in this potential deal is Roberto Mancini and Inter's willingness to offer him a two-year contract, something that goes against Chelsea's policy for aging players. Only time will tell if this deal comes to fruition, or if Chelsea will make a last ditch effort to try and retain his services. The club also has the expiring contract situation of John Terry to deal with in the Summer, so these next few transfer windows could very much be a time of transition for the Blues.