As Branislav Ivanovic prepares to say goodbye to Chelsea and Stamford Bridge, the Blues are quickly going about finding a replacement for the Serbian, with Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac the primary target. However, it might not be so straight forward for Antonio Conte’s men.
Ivanovic has agreed personal terms with Zenit St Petersburg, bringing an end to a highly successful nine-year spell in west London.
But after quickly lining up a move for Schalke’s Kolasinac, reports this morning claim the German club have rejected Chelsea’s initial offer.
The 23-year-old is also wanted by Juventus, having built up a glowing reputation during five years with Die Konigsbluaen.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international’s contract is up this summer, leading many to believe a move would be a formality.
And with the Bundesliga outfit only 11th in the table, they have little chance of landing European football next season.
But Schalke’s refusal has thrown a major spanner in the works, and potentially leaves Chelsea short at the back.
However, our odds of 6/4 for the deal to go ahead today suggest the Blues will come back with an improved offer.
Although Ivanovic wasn’t a regular starter under Conte this season, he had made 13 Premier League appearances this term.
It remains to be seen whether Schalke are simply playing hard-ball, knowing that the Blues need to find someone to replace their departing Russian.
So while the Pensioners try to secure that deal today, they’ll also be preparing to take on Liverpool tonight in a huge clash at Anfield.
We make Chelsea 19/10 to hand the Reds a fourth-straight home defeat, and given their recent form, we expect that price to prove very popular tonight.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing