Antonio Conte recently provided updates on the futures of defender Branislav Ivanovic and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s match against title rivals Liverpool, Antonio Conte confirmed that Branislav Ivanovic was in talks with other clubs. He said that he hasn’t spoken to the club legend and that they would now have to wait to see what happens.
The 32-year-old has been linked with the likes of West Brom and Zenit St.Petersburg in the past few days and speaking about his current situation, Conte said, “I did not speak with Ivanovic about his decision but for sure we know he is talking with other clubs. Now we have to wait.”
Ivanovic has barely featured for Chelsea since the introduction of the new 3-4-3 formation, with his last Premier League start coming in a 3-0 loss against Arsenal and the Serbian international has been unable to rediscover his best form after Chelsea’s 2014/15 double winning campaign.
The Italian went on to say that that at his age, Ivanovic still had many more years left in his career to continue plying his trade at the top level and that his decisions have to respected, given his legendary status at the club.
“He has played a lot of games for this club and won a lot for this club,” he said. “There arrives a moment If you are not playing when you can make a decision and go to another club, and I have great respect for him.”
Like most of the Chelsea squad, he too suffered a huge dip in form and confidence last year. But while the likes of Hazard and Cahill have managed to shake off the rust from last season and are currently in the best form of their lives, Ivanovic has found himself mostly warming the bench.
Speaking about Asmir Begovic’s current situation, the 46-year-old said that he wasn’t informed of any new developments regarding the former Stoke City keeper. The 29-year-old had recently spoken of his desire to leave to get more minutes under his belt.
He said, “I haven’t news about Asmir but I think we have to wait to tomorrow and we will see the situation. Asmir wants to go to play and he knows also our situation. If we are able to find a good replacement he goes, otherwise he stays with us and helps us to fight for the title.”
Begovic hasn’t even made 1 Premier League appearance this season. All of his 5 starts this term have come in the EFL Cup and the FA Cup, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Vice Captain is most likely expected to go to A.F.C. Bournemouth.
In a bid to replace Begovic, Chelsea have been linked with last minute moves for a number of shot-stoppers such as PSG’s Salvatore Sirigu, Brighton’s David Stockdale and Celtic’s Craig Gordon. The Blues have reportedly launched an improved bid for Gordon after being rejected the first time.