Branislav Ivanović’s form has improved in recent weeks, and it appears as though Chelsea FC have decided to tie the Serbian defender down for at least another season

 

Very few Chelsea FC players have been more criticised this season than vice-captain Branislav Ivanović, but former manager José Mourinho persisted with the Serbian throughout his time at the club — to some fans’ dismay — and interim manager Guus Hiddink seems only too happy to continue.

To his credit, the right-back has improved markedly over recent weeks, but importantly, the Blues have also improved, with added protection in midfield in the form of Nigerian international John Obi Mikel. Oscar’s upturn in form has also helped, and the more cohesive midfield has ensured that the Blues’ back four has been better protected.

Perhaps as a consequence of this improvement, it appears Chelsea FC have offered Ivanović a one-year contract extension, which the 31-year-old has accepted according to the usually reliable Matt Hughes from the Times newspaper (via Metro).

It has been club policy to offer players over the age of 30 a one-year contract, and the Blues have tied down their vice-captain amid interest from the Serie A. The exclusive report also claims that there is an option in the contract to extend for a further year, but that is dependent on the number of appearances Ivanović makes next season.

Ivanović’s presence will be important next season

Even if the Serb doesn’t start every game, his experience and leadership qualities will be extremely important to the squad next season — particularly with John Terry’s future still up in the air. Didier Drogba could well have returned to Stamford Bridge before next season, and the Blues will need these strong personalities in the dressing room to prevent a repeat of this season.

Ivanović could even continue being the club’s first-choice right-back while Ghanaian youngster Abdul Baba Rahman finds his feet at the club, and as such, the decision to keep him in the English capital is a very good one by the Chelsea FC hierarchy.

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