According to Sky Sports, Branislav Ivanović has agreed personal terms with Zenit St. Petersburg and will complete his move to the Russian Premier League in the next 24 hours. This follows along from the past week or so of rumors linking the Chelsea legend with a return to the league where he first made his name and from where Chelsea plucked him out almost a decade ago.
BREAKING: Sky sources: Branislav Ivanovic's move from @ChelseaFC to Zenit to be completed in next 24 hours after he agrees personal terms.— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 30, 2017
Ivanović had been briefly linked with a couple Premier League teams as well, especially West Bromwich Albion, but as it turns out, they never were serious contenders for the defender’s signature.
“That's a definite no -- he's not been on the radar. He's a good player but I was at Chelsea [to watch the FA Cup tie against Brentford on Saturday] to look at players Brentford mentioned to me.”
-Tony Pulis; source: ESPN
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte also confirmed that Bane is close to leaving in his press conference earlier today.
“Honestly, I didn't speak with the player about his decision. For sure, you know, we know he's talking with another club. But until now I don't know nothing. We have to wait.”
"He played a lot of games for this club. He won a lot for this club. He's 32 and I think he can play for many [more] years. He's able to continue his career in the right way at the top level, yes. But it's important also to respect the decision of the player, above all for this type of player: a legend of the club.”
"If you are not playing a lot, you can decide to make another decision, to go in another team. But I have great respect for him and for this type of player."
"Yes, for sure [I’m sorry to see his leave]. When you start the season, working with a squad and a group of players, for sure you try to create a link between the players and my staff and me. For sure, we are sorry if someone decides to go away. The same for Oscar, for example. Also for [John Obi] Mikel. But we know this is football, and we are prepared for every situation."
-Antonio Conte; source: ESPN
It’s happening. Sad face.