Chelsea veteran set for January exit to end nine-year spell as PL rivals eye replacement

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is reportedly being targeted by Everton this month, with the Toffees looking to replace Phil Jagielka.

According to The Daily Mail, Jagielka is set to leave Goodison Park this week after a decade at the club, with Sunderland keen on bolstering their backline.

In turn, that will leave Ronald Koeman short at the back, and it’s added that Ivanovic has been placed at the top of their transfer shortlist.

The Serbian stalwart joined Chelsea in 2008, and has gone on to win almost every major honour possible at the club in what has been a glittering spell at Stamford Bridge.

However, he has been forced to watch on as a spectator for most of this season, with Antonio Conte switching to his preferred 3-4-3 system and using Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta as his three-man defence.

In turn, it has raised doubts over Ivanovic’s future, and with the 32-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of this season, it appears as though the time is edging closer for him to move on.

It may well be the start of major changes for the Blues, as with John Terry also set to see his current deal come to an end this summer, Conte will have to replace his experienced veterans and add depth and quality to his squad moving forward.

As for Sunderland, having conceded 42 goals in 22 Premier League games, one of the worst defensive records in the top flight, they will be desperate to bring in someone with the experience and quality of Jagielka.

In a knock-on effect, Everton will want to fill the void, and while his best years might be behind him, it can be argued that Ivanovic can still certainly do a job at the top level if given regular playing time.

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