By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Branislav Ivanovic is close to agreeing a one-year contract extension with Chelsea, Football Insider sources understand.
Ivanovic’s existing contract is due to expire this summer and he is free to sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs from this month ahead of a transfer at the end of the season.
A Chelsea source has told Football Insider that Ivanovic has agreed the terms of a 12-month, £75,000-a-week extension that will run until 2017. The deal will be worth £3.9million in total.
Negotiations between the right-back and the club began last year, with Ivanovic keen on a contract that would run until 2018 but Chelsea have stuck to their policy of handing one-year deals to players over 30.
The Serbian defender, who turned 31 in February, has been has been a mainstay of the Chelsea backline since signing from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008 and started all 38 of the team’s Premier League matches in their title-winning campaign last season.
Like many of his colleagues, Ivanovic’s form has dipped well below those standards this season but he has still maintained his regular place, starting 23 matches including 18 of the Londoners’ 22 Premier League games.