Everton eye Chelsea outcast Ivanovic as Jagielka successor

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Everton are looking to Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic as the man to replace Phil Jagielka at the heart of the Toffees defence.

The England international will turn 35 at the start of next season, and coach Ronald Koeman is known to be looking for younger alternatives.

And according to the numerous reports in the press, Chelsea’s Ivanovic is one such option.

The Serbian is two years younger than Jagielka, and would probably be considered more of a short-term stop-gap than long-term solution.

However, the Blues defender has the benefit of being readily available, having fallen down the pecking order under Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.

After playing every minute of the club’s first six league games of the campaign, Ivanovic has been frozen out since Conte switched to three central defenders.

And Victor Moses has usurped Ivanovic as Chelsea’s de facto right wing-back.

The Serbian’s contract expires this summer too, and it seems unlikely a new deal will be reached.

So it remains to be seen whether Chelsea decide to cash in this month, in a move which leave them open to lacking cover in the coming months.

It would arguably make sense for Koeman to stick with Jagielka for now, rather than risk upsetting the partnership with Ashley Williams mid-season, and then bring Ivanovic in for free this summer.

With four wins and a draw from their last five league games – with four clean sheets – there’s certainly little obvious reason for the Everton boss to make any sweeping changes.

Next up for the Toffees is a trip to Stoke a week on Wednesday, with the in-form Merseysiders 6/4 to win in Staffordshire.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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