The defender is set to leave Chelsea before the deadline passes and is currently in Spain completing physical checks and formalising a deal
Branislav Ivanovic has formalised a deal with Zenit St Petersburg and only needs to complete a medical and the he will head the Russian club’s Spanish training camp after completing his move from Chelsea, Goal understands.
Chelsea will let Ivanovic go on a free transfer with only five months remaining on his current contract, and Goal has been told that the experienced Serbian snubbed interest from “several Premier League clubs” to return to Russia.
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The 32-year-old was brought to west London from Zenit’s rivals Lokomotiv Moscow for £9.7 million and will end his illustrious eight-and-a-half-year career at Stamford Bridge later today.
The deal is expected to be officially announced closer to the English transfer deadline at 23:00 and Ivanovic will leave Chelsea having won the Champions League, Europa League and two Premier League titles.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has allowed Ivanovic to decide his own future as he struggled to break back into the side after the Blues switched to a 3-4-3 formation. He confirmed at his press conference on Monday that Ivanovic could be on his way.
“He has played a lot of games for Chelsea and has won a lot here,” said Conte. “He is 32 years old and can play many more years at the top level but it’s important to respect the player’s decision.
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“If you are not playing a lot, you can make a decision to go to another team but, with respect for him, I am sorry to see him go. When you start the season with a certain group and you try to create a link between the staff and players, we are sorry if someone decides to go away.
“But we know it is football and we are prepared for every situation.”