JUVENTUS, LIKELY IVANOVIC’S NEXT DESINATION

Serbia international right back, Branislav Ivanovic might be heading to Juventus with his contract expiring by May.


The 32-year-old has been relegated to the bench following an abysmal run of form plus the emergence of Victor Moses on the right wing-back in the three-man defence at Chelsea.

Ivanovic has thus become a potential transfer target for Juve due to injuries to Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonnuci. Alves suffered a fractured tibia in the defeat to Genoa while Chelsea target, Bonucci has been ruled-out with a hamstring injury – leaving the Old Ladies short at the back. This has prompted Juve to look at relatively cheap targets to cover for the injured pair, with Ivanovic’s name understood to be high on their list.

But it is understood that Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte will be reluctant to let Ivanovic go without first signing a replacement, as the Serb still provides valuable cover at right-back and centre. Conte has 20-year-old Ola Aina in his squad and Cesar Azpilicueta on the right side of the back-line, but, with Chelsea fighting for the Premier League title, the coach will want to be sure of signing at least one new defender before allowing Ivanovic to leave.

Bonucci has been a top target for the Stanford Bridge outfit with owner, Roman Abrahamovic prepared to bank-roll a £60 million plus bid, but an injury to the 29-year-old could see the plan change. Roma central defender Antonio Rudiger and Burnley’s Michael Kaene are alternative options, while Conte may also want a specialist right-wing-back to provide competition and cover to Victor Moses should the player gets injured.

Ivanovic is believed to favour remaining in London if his Chelsea career does come to an end, as West Ham United and Crystal Palace have both shown interest in him, although Juventus may prove to be more tempting.

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