Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is close to signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, according to reports.

The Daily Mail says Ivanovic, 32, will be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer, bringing an end to his nine-year association with the London club.

A final decision on the transfer is expected to be made on 30 January.

West Brom were also linked with a move for Ivanovic, with manager Tony Pulis watching the Serbia international in action during Chelsea's 4-0 FA Cup victory over Brentford at the weekend.

However, the Baggies have reportedly switched their attention towards signing Zenit defender Nicolas Lombaerts in a £5m ($6.3m) deal instead.

Speaking after the Brentford match, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he would not stand in Ivanovic's way if the centre-back wanted to leave the club before the January transfer window closes.

"Ivan deserves great respect for his career at Chelsea. He won a lot with this team," the Italian tactician was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

"When one player has the habit to play every game and it happens that you are not playing regularly, it's not easy to accept this decision.

Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic, 32, has won two Premier League titles and one Champions League with Chelsea IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Image

"Ivan knows well the situation and I'm pleased if he remains here, if he stays with us. But in this situation, for sure, the player must make the best decision for him, for his family."

Ivanovic has played more than 350 games for Chelsea signing joining the club from Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2008.

He has won two league titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League with the Blues.

Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is also looking to leave the club before deadline day after growing frustrated with his lack of playing time.

"I have spoken with the boss – we are quite open about it, he knows I am desperate to play, and that's all it is really," Begovic was reported as saying by the Daily Mirror.

"If he can make it happen for me he will. That is something that is going to be sorted out in the next couple of days."