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Ivanovic returns to PL with West Brom

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Last Updated: 15/09/20 4:23pm

Branislav Ivanovic has joined West Brom after leaving Zenit

Branislav Ivanovic has sealed a return to the Premier League after signing a one-year contract with West Brom.

The 36-year-old left Chelsea in February 2017 and has spent the last three-and-a-half years in Russia with Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Ivanovic becomes Slaven Bilic's sixth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Cedric Kipre, David Button and Callum Robinson.

The Serbian defender spent nine years at Chelsea between 2008-2017, winning 10 major trophies which included the 2012 Champions League.

Bilic said after West Brom's opening game 3-0 defeat to Leicester that Ivanovic's signing was almost done and the club have now confirmed it.

Ivanovic returns to the Premier League after leaving Chelsea in 2017

Ivanovic, who can play at right-back or centre-back, was a free agent after leaving Zenit following the conclusion of the Russian Premier League on July 22.

He brings a wealth of Premier League experience to the newly-promoted Baggies, having made 261 league appearances during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Ivanovic (left) has won three Premier League titles 'We're doing everything to sign Krovinovic'

Bilic also confirmed on Friday he is trying to sign midfielder Filip Krovinovic on a permanent deal from Benfica, following the 25-year-old's season-long loan spell at The Hawthorns last season.

"As well as new signings we also wanted to keep the loan players from last season, those we wanted to," said the Baggies boss.

Slaven Bilic watches on as West Brom are beaten 3-0 by Leicester

"We signed Grady (Diangana) and Callum Robinson and we are doing everything to sign Krovinovic too. That is not easy to do, especially in these circumstances with coronavirus.

"It is not easy to get the players that you want, but we are trying and hopefully we can do it."

Bilic: We want to be Premier League protagonists

Slaven Bilic says West Brom are ready to be "protagonists" of the Premier League, adding that he expects his team to extend their stay in the top flight beyond this campaign.

Bilic guided his side to a second-placed finish in the Championship last season, earning automatic promotion and a chance to compete in the Premier League for the first time since 2018.

However, the 52-year-old is not content to just be fighting for survival, and wants his side to make their mark against England's elite.

"This is something for what we've been working so hard for last season," Bilic told Sky Sports. "Now we're in the place where we want to be, we're in the place where we'd like to stay.

"We know exactly what we have to do to have a chance of being a protagonist in this league. We are ready."

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A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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