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Chelsea Vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic agrees new contract terms — report

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According to an "exclusive" report from Matt Hughes of The Times, long-time Chelsea right back Branislav Ivanović, whose contract is expiring this summer, is set to sign an extension with the club.  But not right now.  Next month.

Branislav Ivanovic has agreed the terms of a contract extension at Chelsea and is likely to sign a one-year deal next month, with the option of a further 12 months if he plays a certain number of matches.

-source: Times

I wonder what's the point of delaying it until after the transfer window.  If he's agreed terms, why not sign it now and prevent further speculation about his future?  Another odd detail is the supposed option for a further 12 months, which is not an option we've ever afforded any player, not even John Terry, for any of these customary one-year extensions for players 30 and over.

This January marks Ivanović's ninth year at Chelsea, the current vice-captain having long become part of the Stamford Bridge furniture.  At the rate he's still going, he could easily crack the top 10 with over 400 appearances for the Blues (he  moved past 300 last season).

Ivanović had been linked with Bosman moves to several Serie A clubs, but despite his struggles earlier this season (which he now seems to have largely put behind him), I will be very happy if the loyal relationship between him and Chelsea continues in the future.