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Chelsea defender linked with shock move to local rivals

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is a January target for West Ham United, according to the Daily Express.

The report suggests Ivanovic, whose current contract expires next summer, is likely to leave the club either in January or at the end of the season.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is reportedly keen to take the veteran defender to the Olympic Stadium, but faces competition from Italian giants Inter Milan, who are keen to sign him on a free transfer next year.

Despite Inter’s reported interest, the newspaper claims Ivanovic wants to stay in London, which could make West Ham clear favourites for his signature.

The 32-year-old former Lokomotiv Moscow defender has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks and hasn’t started a league game since Chelsea’s heavy defeat to Arsenal on September 24th.

It seems like Ivanovic doesn’t have a place in Conte’s 3-4-3 formation, which has been extremely successful since the Italian manager implemented it at the end of September.

Chelsea are yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since the game at the Emirates Stadium and Conte is unlikely to make changes to his defensive organization in the near future.

It appears as though Ivanovic’s career at Chelsea is almost over, as he’s unlikely to be offered a new deal given his situation in the team.