Zenit St Petersburg Welcome Branislav Ivanovic After Signing Defender From Chelsea

?Zenit St Petersburg have officially confirmed the signing of long-serving Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. Completion of the move had been expected for the final few days of the winter transfer window, with Zenit announcing a two-and-a-half year contract for the player.

For Ivanovic it marks a return to the Russian Premier League nine years after he joined Chelsea from Lokomotiv Moscow. Prior to that he’d played for home-town club FK Srem and OFK Beograd in his native Serbia.

Ivanovic famously struggled to get into the team at Chelsea for first months of his tenure, after the club spent £9m on him. However, after taking the time to settle and bring his fitness up to speed, he became indispensable.

He was a regular fixture of the Chelsea defence during Carlo Ancelotti’s domestic double winning season and ultimately went on to play nearly 400 games for the club in all competitions, collecting further Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League honours along the way.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

Ivanovic can now look forward to helping Zenit catch Spartak Moscow in the Russian title race in a bid to reclaim the trophy last won in 2015.

The club also remains active in the Europa League having won five out of six games in the group stage. Ivanovic will be on board to face Belgian side Anderlecht over two legs in the Last 32 round later this month.

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