La Liga giants Barcelona are struggling to fill the hole left by the departure of legendary right-back Dani Alves. While their prime target is believed to be Valencia full-back Joao Cancelo, Chelsea veteran Branislav Ivanovic is being considered as a short-term option.

 

The Blaugrana are desperate to sign Valencia full-back Joao Cancelo. However, one bone of contention is that Los Che are demanding £21.5 million for the Portuguese defender, an amount that the Catalans are unwilling to pay.

The latest reports claim that Barcelona are now looking to sign some short-term cover this January, before launching a move for Cancelo in the summer. The Catalans will be looking for a veteran right-back who can shore up the defence during the business end of the season.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have named Chelsea veteran Branislav Ivanovic as one of the players Barca will be looking to sign this January on an 18-month deal. The two other targets will be Croatian defender Darijo Srna and Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus.

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) shouts at Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte (R) shouts at Chelsea’s Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on September 16, 2016. (Photo courtesy – Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Branislav Ivanovic’s influence on the Chelsea team has been waning in the past couple of seasons. The 32-year-old has come under some harsh criticism and he could face a tough time trying to resurrect his career at Stamford Bridge.

Ivanovic was a first-choice defender at the beginning of the season. However, back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal provoked manager Antonio Conte to implement his own tactical format and drop the Serbian.

The three-man defensive system has since proven to be a huge success, as the Blues have romped to five straight wins without conceding a single goal. The tactical tweak has left Ivanovic out in the cold, with Victor Moses impressing in the right wing-back role and Cesar Azpilicueta dominant at right centre-back.

A move to Barcelona could be tempting for the Serbian. He would have the chance to see out his career at the fabled Camp Nou, while regular playing time will definitely be a big bonus. Ivanovic, Srna and Lichtsteiner are all well into their thirties and the Blaugrana could snap them up on a bargain deal come January.

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