Mourinho’s ‘four solutions’ for replacing Ivanovic

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has said he has four options for replacing Branislav Ivanovic in the Chelsea side.

Ivanovic faces a number of weeks on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury while playing for Serbia.

The 31-year-old has been criticised for his performances this season, with many fans calling for Blues boss Mourinho to move Cesar Azpilicueta across to right-back and give recent signing Baba Rahman a run in the team at left-back.

However, Mourinho is considering deploying Kurt Zouma at right-back in Ivanovic’s place.

And the Portuguese has also suggested that Ramires and 18-year-old academy product Ola Aina are in contention.

He explained: “I have four solutions. I have Azpilicueta, I have the adaption of Zouma or Ramires, and I also have Ola Aina – he is 18 and has never played a game in the Premier League but he is a boy with lots of potential and is an option.”

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma
Zouma is being considered for a place at right-back

Mourinho, who plans to appeal against a £50,000 fine imposed for his comments about the match officials after Chelsea’s defeat against Southampton, indicated after that match that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was in line for a starting place.

And he again hinted that the midfielder will feature against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“Ruben has been working with us every day,” Mourinho said.

“With his evolution physically, mentally and tactically, he is going to be a very strong player. He is ready.”

Loftus-Cheek impressed while playing for England’s Under-21 side this week, scoring the first goal in a 3-0 win against Kazakhstan.