Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic is tonight nearing the Chelsea exit door, according to Russian newspaper Sport Express.

Ivanovic, 32, has found his gametime limited this season as new manager Antonio Conte instills his blueprint on the squad, making just 13 appearances for the Blues.

And according to Sport Express, the Serb has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal with Zenit St Petersburg, who are currently second in the Russian Premier League. It is understood Ivanovic will move on a free transfer and be paid wages of £82,000 per week providing the transfer is confirmed.


He didn't even make the matchday squad for Sunday's win over Hull City and has seen his involvement reduced after impressive performances from Victor Moses.

Nathan Ake's return from a loan spell at Bournemouth is also likely to hamper Ivanovic's gametime in the second half of the season.

Zenit's move for Ivanovic means several English clubs will be left disappointed; Everton, Leicester, West Brom and West Ham were all in interested in signing him as he enters the last five months of his Chelsea contract.

Ivanovic moved to Chelsea in January 2008 for a fee of £9.8 million from Zenit's fellow Russian outfit, Lokomotiv Moscow, and has gone on to make almost 400 appearances for the Blues, winning nine major honours.

During this successful stint at Stamford Bridge he has scored 33 goals including a last-minute winner in the 2013 Europa League final versus Benfica and a crucial goal in the 2012 Champions League tie against Napoli.

Bid rejected

In other news, Chelsea have today had a bid rejected for Celtic's 34 year-old goalkeeper Craig Gordon as they look to find a replacement for Asmir Begovic, who is a rumoured target for fellow Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.

Antonio Conte is willing to let the Bosnian international leave in order to gain first team football but only for the right price.

Galatasaray's Uruguyan international Fernando Muslera and Spaniard Diego Lopez, currently on loan at Espanyol from AC Milan, are also being considered.

The Blues are in FA Cup fourth round action on Saturday as they take on Championship side Brentford at Stamford Bridge.