Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has signed a new one-year contract extension at Stamford Bridge, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2017. The Serbian international was out of contract at the end of the season but has penned a new 12-month deal to take his spell in west London into a ninth year.
Ivanovic joined the Blues in January 2008 and has gone on to win every major honour during eight seasons at the club. The 31-year-old has won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League during his trophy-laden spell at the club.
But amid a tough campaign for Ivanovic, speculation was rife that Chelsea were prepared to offload the versatile defender with Inter Milan among the clubs reportedly interested, according to The Evening Standard. However, Ivanovic has put pen to paper on fresh terms which extends his spell in the Premier League.
"I am very happy to stay with Chelsea for another season," he told the club's official website. "After eight years here this is my home and there is no other place I would rather play football. I have enjoyed so much success since moving to the club and I am determined to help the team achieve more in the last months of this season and next year as well."
Though Ivanovic has quashed talk of him leaving the club in January, the new deal does not rule out the player departing in the summer. Chelsea would have been consigned to losing Ivanovic for nothing at the end of the season with the player being out of contract but the new deal ensures they could at least command a transfer fee for the centre-back who turns 32 in February.
The agreement represents the sixth decisive transfer decision taken by Chelsea in the January window, after allowing five players to leave the club in various capacities. Hubert Adamczyk has left the club on a permanent deal while four players including Papy Djilobodji have departed on loan.