Former Chelsea player Branislav Ivanovic will become West Brom player in a ‘matter of hours’ according to the club’s coach Slaven Bilic.

Ivanovic will join the Baggies as a free agent after leaving Russian side Zenith St Petersburg last summer.

The 36-year old left Chelsea after making over 400 appearances in his nine-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

The former Serbian International can play both as a right-back and a centre-back as he has a vast experience behind of the premier league behind his belt.

Bilic said on Friday afternoon: “It’s very close. Hopefully it will be done later, in a matter of hours.

“He would be a great addition for us, a team who is newly promoted in the Premier League. He ticks all the boxes for us.

“He’s done everything in his career – it’s been magnificent. We’d be delighted. First of all he will add quality, also his experience on the pitch and off the pitch.

“So it is not only him, it is him plus the influence he will have on not just defenders but the whole team around him. That’s why we targeted him as one of our prime targets. It would be a great signing for us.”

Ivanovic has won two Russian titles in his three-and-a-half-year stay with Zenith and could be signed before West Brom’s premier league opener against Leicester on Sunday.

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