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Media Watch: Ivanovic closes in on Premier League return, Robben’s return ruined, Fabregas reaches milestone

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, we have updates on three former Stamford Bridge favourites.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Bilic expects Ivanovic at Baggies training

While West Bromwich Albion have yet to confirm they have signed Branislav Ivanovic, manager Slaven Bilic has hinted a deal has already been done, the BBC reports.

The former Chelsea defender has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League since he became a free agent after leaving Zenit St Petersburg at the end of last season.

Speaking after the newly promoted side lost 3-0 to Leicester City in their season-opener on Sunday, Bilic suggested the 36-year-old will begin training with his team this week.

‘As far as I know, it was done yesterday (Saturday) I think,’ said the Croatian on Ivanovic signing with the Baggies.

‘I expect him to be here tomorrow (Monday) but I don't know what happened in the last 24 hours.’

The report goes on to suggest that Ivanovic is unlikely to be involved in West Brom’s EFL Cup tie against Harrogate Town at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.


Robben injured in comeback game

According to the Daily Mail, Arjen Robben’s first competitive game after coming out of retirement lasted only 28 minutes as he suffered an injury in a Dutch Eredivisie match for Groningen on Sunday.

Having retired as a player in July 2019, the former Chelsea winger announced earlier this summer he was returning to the game to play for his boyhood club.

The 36-year-old captained the club when they faced another of his former clubs, PSV Eindhoven, in their Eredivisie season-opener but his dream comeback quickly turned sour.

‘After being named to feature from the start, Robben broke a record set by former Holland team-mate Robin van Persie for the longest absence between two Eredivisie games — playing 16 years and 155 days since his last appearance for PSV in 2004,’ states the report.

‘It was a short-lived return for the former Real Madrid and Chelsea winger, though, after being withdrawn just half an hour into the game with an apparent muscular problem. He limped off and was replaced by Tomas Suslov.

‘PSV went 1-0 up five minutes later as Cody Gakpo opened the scoring before Robben's replacement Suslov levelled things up. That equaliser proved in vain as the visitors went on to secure a 3-1 win.’


Fabregas reaches career milestone

Former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas marked his 800th game as a professional player on Sunday in Monaco’s 2-1 win over Nantes in a Ligue 1 match, the Daily Mail reports.

 

The Spaniard played nearly the entire match before coming off in stoppage time as the principality side maintained their unbeaten start to the season and joined Rennes and Lille at the top of the table.

As he celebrated in the dressing room with his team-mates after the game, Fabregas was given a special shirt with the number 800 on it.

He posted a picture on Instagram accompanied by the caption: ‘800 games as a professional!! What an amazing victory from the team. Let’s keep it up!’.

Fabregas played 198 game for Chelsea from 2014 to 2019 and won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and League Cup during his time with the Blues.

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