It appears that Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho isn't going to mess around with the future of defender Branislav Ivanovic - and why would he?
If reports are to be believed, the Portuguese tactician is set to hand his Serbian star a new deal with the club despite the fact that he doesn't run out of contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2016.
More to come
And Ivanovic may well be 31-years-old, but Mourinho seems convinced that the player's good enough to star at the elite level of English football for a number of years to come. He's probably right.
After all, in what has so far been a tremendous season for the Blues, Ivanovic has been outstanding as he's continued to dominate strikers from around the division. In truth, he's been remarkable throughout his entire stint with the Premier League.
Consistently brilliant - Ivanovic seems to rarely ever let his side down. After arriving from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008, the versatile defender has enjoyed so much success for the club, and constantly proved a huge asset under the guidance of different managers.
Mourinho loves him
In fact, it was only last month that his boss hailed him as one of the club's best ever signings. After Ivanovic found the net in the club's Premier League clash with Aston Villa last month, Mourinho told reporters: "He came immediately after I left and after that he made a fantastic contribution for this club. He is a competitive animal. A big heart.
"What really matters more is what we as a club feel for him and people like John [Terry] and [Gary] Cahill, guys that without them -- you cannot do anything. A team is an artist like [Eden] Hazard, it is a defender like Branislav. The mix and combination of talent makes a team.
"Every striker in the world would be proud to score that magnificent goal, it is an amazing goal. When he scores that goal and it is three or four nil it is a different feeling. He is a great guy, what he is doing for us is unbelievable."
Mourinho certainly has a soft spot for Ivanovic, and it's not hard to see why. If you take this campaign alone, then Ivanovic's impact is there for all to see.
In 27 Premier League games this season, Ivanovic has made 27 appearances. While John Terry is 'Mr Chelsea', Ivanovic is 'Mr Reliable'.
And he is also a class act: defensively sound, the Serbian certainly knows how to contribute in terms of goals. After all, four league goals and three assists for a defender is solid work.
And he's a scorer of crucial goals too. That fantastic header against French moneybags PSG last month is certainly proof of that. He doesn't hide in the big games. He's a leader, and one that Mourinho will want by his side for a good few years yet.
Unsurprisingly, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville claimed that Ivanovic was the league's best right-back. It's hard to argue against that.
There's no doubt about it, if and when Ivanovic signs a new long term deal with the club, Blues fans should expect him to play his part in leading them to glory over the coming years.
Chelsea fans: Do you agree? How many more years do you think Ivanovic has left at the top level of English football? Have your say in the comments section below!
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