Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav IvanovicReuters

Arsenal are preparing a shock move for Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in the event of Thomas Vermaelen's departure from the club, according to the Metro.

The Gunners captain, who is on the final year of his contract, has fallen down the pecking order and had to be content with a place on the bench for most of last season, with Arsene Wenger keeping faith in first choice centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

The north London club are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements and with Bacary Sagna having left and Vermaelen's future uncertain, the Chelsea defender makes a good candidate as he can fill in at both positions in the back.

Ivanovic is a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge and has been an integral part of the Chelsea team that won the Champions League and the Europa League in consecutive seasons.

However, the 30-year-old defender, who is primarily a centre-back, has been played out of position at right back, which he has made his own during his time in the west London club.

Nevertheless, with Gary Cahill and John Terry being the preferred choice at centre-back and with the arrival of teen sensation Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne, it will be hard for the Serbian to get a place in the starting XI.

It is claimed that the north London club can get their man for a price in the region of £7m. He will be a solid addition to the Arsenal back line as he has the experience and know-how of the English Premier league.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard who is on World Cup duty with the highly fancied dark horses, Belgium, was talking about their opening game against Algeria.

The Belgians managed a comeback win after going a goal down in the first-half. But the win was not convincing and also not in the style expected before the tournament began.

"I didn't find it easy; it was difficult for all the midfielders and forwards, especially in the first half, to find the space to show what we can do. But when Marouane scored the equaliser, the game opened up more," Hazard told

"We were able to show a little more of what we can bring as individuals and as a team. Hopefully you will see more of that kind of football from us in the games ahead.

"Now we are in a good position at the top of the group and we want to do everything we can to stay there," the Belgian added.