Branislav Ivanovic close to new Chelsea deal

Branislav Ivanovic was today close to signing a new four-year contract with Chelsea.

The 26-year-old defender, who scored one and made the other in Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Blackburn, has 18 months left on his current deal.

Talks over extending it have dragged on for some time, while AC Milan and Juventus are reportedly interested in the Serbia star.

But Ivanovic is keen to stay and is not far from putting pen to paper.

Speaking after Saturday's game, he said: "I want to stay and I hope it will be sorted out soon.

"We are talking about my new contract but we will see in the next couple of weeks.

"I don't want to say anything wrong. I hope things are going the right way. This is all I can say."

Ivanovic joined Chelsea two years ago from Lokomotiv Moscow for a reported £9million.

He has become a key member of the Stamford Bridge squad, first at right-back and now at centre-half.

Although he prefers the latter role, the return of Alex from injury and the possible arrival of a new defender may see him revert to the former, which has been something of a problem position for Chelsea of late.

The Blues are understood to retain an interest in Benfica's David Luiz and reports today claim they are back in talks with the Portuguese club, having had a bid rejected for the player last month.

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