Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic did not have the best of starts to the season in the Community Shield against Manchester City at Villa Park, but thankfully he will not serve a ban for red card he received in the first half of our 3-2 defeat.
Meanwhile, according to The Metro, we are to step up the chase for Marseilles’ Cesar Azpilicueta (think I’m getting the hang of the spelling now), despite learning that Ivanovic won’t be serving a three-match ban. In fact, the fact Ivanovic is available puts us in a much better position as the French club could have easily held out for more money knowing we’d be desperate.
Since the monobrowed Jose Bosingwa left the club we have been in the market for a new right-back to compete with Ivanovic, especially as Paulo Ferreira and Sam Hutchinson have been linked with moves/loans away from Stamford Bridge. It was seem as though Azpilicueta is our first choice at the moment and a deal is expected this week (it’s always ‘this week’) after protracted negotiations.
Chelsea had been heavily linked with Brazilian fullback Maicon until that one fell through and the rumours linking us to Dortmund’s Lukasz Piszczek seems to be something of a non-starter at this stage. We’ve also had a £6 million bid for Azpilicueta, allegedly, and the French outfit will settle for a figure closer to £10 million.
I don’t know a whole lot about about the Spaniard and hadn’t really heard or took much notice of him until we were first linked with him last season. Our scouts obviously think they can see some potential in him as he’s probably not good enough to go in as a starter but he’s more of a natural fullback than Ivanovic is and will hopefully develop quickly in a squad that’s experienced as ours is. I would prefer to see an attacking fullback that would offer a similar width as Ashley Cole or Ryan Bertrand offer on the left-hand side.