Branislav Ivanovic

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Branislav Ivanovic completes move from Chelsea to Zenit

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The transfer window may have shut at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday but deals are still trickling through.

[ MORE: Full January transfer news ] 

Branislav Ivanovic, 32, has completed his move from Chelsea to Russian Premier League side Zenit St. Petersburg as the transfer window in Russia is open until Feb. 24. Ivanovic needed to be registered as a Zenit player last night in order to be available for their upcoming European games.

The Chelsea defender had fallen down the pecking order this season and the Serbian international has joined Zenit on a free transfer, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal with the club challenging for the league title and in the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League.

After signing for Chelsea in 2008 from Lokomotiv Moscow, Ivanovic went on to become an integral part of the Blues as he made 377 appearances and scored an impressive 34 goals.

[ MORE: Grades for each PL club on January deals ]

Ivanovic featured mainly as a right back for Chelsea but also played several times in central defense. He won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League (he scored the winner in the 2012-13 final in Amsterdam) Premier League title twice, three FA Cups and a League Cup in his glittering career in west London.

He leaves Chelsea as a legend.

With Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma rising through the ranks, Chelsea has plenty of options to replace Ivanovic. Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta have become a force to be reckoned with in Chelsea’s three-man central defense and that’s reduced Ivanovic to 16 appearances this season.

In his 377th and final appearance for the Blues he came on as a sub in the FA Cup fourth round clash with Brentford at Stamford Bridge. He made a typical surging run from right back, rolling back the years to hammer home one last goal. Clearly emotional, Ivanovic will always be welcome back at the Bridge.

After Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech, another Chelsea legend has departed. John Terry is the last man standing…

Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham soften Payet stance; Reus to replace Alexis

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Will he stay or will he go? It’s the question consuming the entirety of the January transfer window, as West Ham United desperately attempt to keep hold of their brilliant, want-away midfielder Dimitri Payet. Having already rejected numerous bids for the 29-year-old French international, a report from the Mirror claims the Hammers may be prepared to soften their not-for-sale stance and concede defeat in the face of Marseille’s continued pursuit. But only for $36 million, or more.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

Rumors regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez have swirled for weeks and months now. With Sanchez’s contract set to expire next summer, the Gunners could be forced to recoup whatever they can for the Chilean this summer if he refuses to commit his long-term future to the club. That money will have to be reinvested, of course, to acquire his replacement. According to WhoScored.com, a $64-million bid would be made for 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Branislav Ivanovic‘s Chelsea career could be coming to a close, as the 32-year-old Serbian international is reportedly in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg. Ivanovic would see out the remainder of the 2016-17 Premier League season before moving to Russia on a free transfer in the summer.

[ MORE: Wenger suspended 4 games for pushing referee ]

Gaston Ramirez could be leaving Middlesbrough for Leicester City — a $15-million bid has been rejected, but a follow-up is expected, with $19 million the reported price tag — thus Boro are expected to reinvest the Ramirez fee in the form of a bid for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

[ MORE: FA Cup 4th round preview — is it time for Cupsets? ]

Mathieu Debuchy is eyeing a return to Ligue 1 after being told he is welcome to leave Arsenal this month. The 31-year-old returned to first-team training on Friday following a hamstring injury, but has been highly critical of manager Arsene Wenger in recent weeks, thus his future at the club seems sealed. Debuchy has played just 16 minutes in the PL this season.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Everton rescue Ivanovic, Insigne to Arsenal

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Just nine days remain until the transfer window closes, and teams are gearing up for the stretch run that always provides plenty of action despite what’s been an uncharacteristically quiet January so far.

Chelsea has already shed a bit of dead weight in sending Oscar to China, and they could find suitors for another cast-away in Branislav Ivanovic as well. According to the Liverpool Echo, Ronald Koeman is hoping to bring Ivanovic to Everton as the Toffees look to secure a top seven position in the table.

Ivanovic has been a staple at Chelsea for years, but since being dropped by Antonio Conte on October 1st, he’s managed just 43 Premier League minutes as the Blues exploded on their record-tying winning streak. The 33-year-old doesn’t exactly fit into Conte’s system, but he apparently intrigues the Everton front office.

That move, apparently, could be the trigger that forces a longtime Everton defender to see his way out. According to the Daily Mail, Toffees captain Phil Jagielka has spoken with with Koeman to discuss his future at the club. Jagielka, like Ivanovic, began the season as an obvious choice in the starting lineup, but was dropped in early December and has seen just two Premier League appearances since as Everton has lost just twice since then.

Over in Italy, Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne is having a fantastic season, and it’s alerting clubs domestically and abroad. His contract doesn’t expire in Naples until 2019, but there’s talk of a contract extension due to his stellar season which has seen him bag six Serie A goals and five assists in 20 appearances. According to reports in Italy, Insigne is now shelving contract talks with interest abound. AC Milan is also said to be desiring his services as they push to break into the top echelon of the table, but the Gunners could also swoop, especially if Napoli is unwilling to match his contract demands.

One player who is wanted across the Premier League is Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie. With links to Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea as well as Paris Saint-Germain, it’s certain to gain steam as Deadline Day approaches, but according to reports in Europe, Atalanta is prepared to ward off all interest by turning down all bids for the player. Kessie, an Ivory Coast international, has helped Atalanta to the 7th spot in the Serie A table, but is currently on international duty in the African Cup of Nations. He has six goals this season from the defensive midfield spot, although four of those came in the first three league games of the season.

VIDEO: Watch Ivanovic’s dramatic late winner as Chelsea keep rolling

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Branislav Ivanovic was Chelsea’s captain with John Terry out injured and he played the role superbly on Saturday at St Mary’s.

In the 89th minute the Serbian defender rose above Virgil Van Dijk and sent a bullet header into the net to hand Chelsea a 2-1 win.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Southampton had led through Shane Long but Cesc Fabregas equalized with 15 minutes to go and then Ivanovic rose highest to grab all three points for Guus Hiddink’s side.

The Blues are 11 games unbeaten in the Premier League since Jose Mourinho was fired in December and continue to roll towards the top 10.

Click play on the video below to see Ivanovic score the winner and celebrate in front of the jubilant Chelsea fans on the South Coast.

Chelsea reacts after Champions League loss to PSG: “We were not lethal enough”

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Guus Hiddink isn’t used to losing as Chelsea boss, but there are worse defeats than a 2-1 first leg loss that sees a potentially vital away goal move to your back pocket.

Paris Saint-Germain was the better side on Tuesday at the Parc des Princes, but a John Obi Mikel goal has the Premier League outfit feeling okay before March 9’s second leg in London.

[ MORE: PSG 2-1 Chelsea | Zlatan says Parisiens can win it all ]

Here’s Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, who captained the Blues and did plenty of good before being beaten by Edinson Cavani for PSG’s winner.

“Very very difficult game. We tried to play our game and score the goal away. They score, which is a massive goal for them, but we keep going, keep fighting. We will do everything to fight and try to go through.”

Guus Hiddink felt similar to his captain, and refused to bemoan injuries and suspensions that kept John Terry and Nemanja Matic away from the leg.

From the BBC:

“The result is negative but, on the other hand, an away goal is important. It hurt a bit because the team was playing decently against a team with capacity to play. But we are still in the race.

“We were not lethal enough at times but otherwise we can be relatively happy.”

The away goal is nice, and away goals pushed PSG past Chelsea in last year’s tournament. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic and company have experience in winning second legs at Stamford Bridge, even when the aforementioned Ibra falls victim to an Oscar dive.

Now if only Diego Costa buried that header…