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Indispensable Chelsea defender linked with AS Roma move - report

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Branislav Ivanovic has been ever present in Chelsea lineups for the past several seasons.

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Chelsea and Serie A club Roma have been linked on several fronts in recent times; here's yet another one.  According to Corriere dello Sport (via Gazzetta World), Roma are interested in bringing Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic to the Stadio Olimpico.

Roma director Walter Sabatini paid a visit to Chelsea's facilities a few days ago with the main intention of arranging Radja Nainggolan's transfer to Chelsea (and/or hammering out the final details of Mohamed Salah's transfer to Italy), but the latest speculation is that Roma may also be interested in acquiring one of our long-standing veterans. In the past, Ivanovic has been linked with potential transfers to other Italian clubs such as Juventus and Inter Milan.

Vice-captain Ivanovic recently extended his contract with the Blues for anther year, until 2017, after many rumours indicating that he wanted his new deal to last until 2018 — which would've run contrary to club policy. While Ivanovic hasn't covered himself in glory as a right-back for the most of the season, he's shown off his invaluable versatility when filling in for John Terry, not only as a center back but also as a leader on the pitch.

While many expect Chelsea to make several important moves in the transfer market, Ivanović may be one of the less likely players to leave.  He's had a sub-optimal season, to be sure, but he's still one of the few leaders we've got on the squad, which will be especially important if John Terry, as expected, leaves after the season.