Antonio Conte has offered no assurances over Branislav Ivanovic’s Chelsea future as the transfer window edges ever closer to slamming shut.
Ivanovic has won every major honour with Chelsea since he joined from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008, racking up more than 350 appearances, but the veteran defender turns 33 in February, and was singled out for poor performances last season – and has struggled in Premier League games ever since, only appearing for Antonio Conte in cup games so far.
Ivanovic has been linked with moves to Zenit St Petersburg and Everton in the January transfer window, and was not in the matchday squad for last weekend’s win over Hull.
“I don’t know if anything happens about him,” Conte said.
“There are four days (remaining of the transfer window) and, in this month, there is a lot of speculation.
“When I switched to three at the back, something changed and, for sure, I have to make decisions,” Conte added.
“I think that, until now, he’s always involved in our squad.”
Ivanovic last started for Chelsea in September – where Chelsea were beaten 3-0, and the game that many believe was the final straw, leading Conte to change to the currently favoured system.
Conte said: “We play two games very tough against two rivals to win the league, but for me now my focus, my concentration is to go into the next round of the FA Cup.
“I hope the same thought is in the mind of my players. It’s an opportunity for us – for me – to see many players who are not playing.”
Ivanovic did infact play for Chelsea against Brentford, and even managed to register a goal, scoring the third for the Blues in a comfortable 4-0 win, taking them into the next round of the FA Cup full of confidence, as well as into two big important upcoming Premier League games against Liverpool and Arsenal.