Chelsea news: Branislav Ivanovic could start despite uncertain future, says Antonio Conte

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The Blues defender could be back in the team against Brentford despite the fact that the coach would not rule out a sale before the transfer deadline

Branislav Ivanovic could face Brentford on Saturday despite speculation he will be sold, with Zenit St Petersburg and West Brom among the clubs interested in the Chelsea veteran.

The 32-year-old has featured only sparingly since the Blues’ 3-0 humbling at the hands of Arsenal in September, which sparked a change in formation and the winning run that has left them top of the table.

Lampard fears retiring too early

Antonio Conte says he considers Ivanovic available to play but admitted he is unsure what the future holds for the Serbian ahead of the close of the transfer window on Tuesday night.

“He’s in the list, not injured,” Conte said at a press conference. “In the squad. I don’t know [if he will stay] because, I repeat, there are four days and, in this month, there is a lot of speculation.

“I don’t know if anything happens about him. Sometimes I think that you know more than me. I think this season that Ivanovic has played with me. He started different games, in the starting XI.

“When I switched to three at the back, something changed and, for sure, I have to make decisions. To pick only 11 players. I think that, until now, he’s always involved in our squad.”

John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic

The right-back has been an important part of his club’s success during his eight-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge and he would leave having won each of the major English and European competitions.

Lampard: Conte changed everything

Ivanovic was named in the Premier League and Champions League team of the season for the 2014-15 campaign and was the man of the match in the 2013 Europa League final, ending a season in which he made 59 appearances in all competitions and scored eight goals.

He has made 375 appearances in total for the Blues since joining from Lokomotiv Moscow for a fee of around £9 million back in 2008.

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