English Premiership

Ivanovic not bitter over biter

2013-07-16 16:00
Branislav Ivanovic (AFP)

Bangkok - Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic said Tuesday he would be happy to team up with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez despite last season's notorious biting incident.

Ivanovic said he had forgiven Suarez for biting him during Chelsea's game against Liverpool in April, an infamous misstep which earned the controversial Uruguayan a 10-match ban.

"What happened on the field finished there," Ivanovic said in Bangkok during Chelsea's pre-season tour. "He's one of the best strikers in the Premier League and I don't have any problem or any doubt about him."

Suarez's reputation plummeted anew after the biting row - which followed an earlier race storm - but Chelsea are in the market for a new striker, meaning the Uruguayan is a possible target.

Suarez has raised the prospect of moving to a different club, although Liverpool have stressed that he is not for sale and rejected a 30-million pound ($45 million) from Arsenal, according to reports.

Chelsea transfer targets reportedly include Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Christian Benteke of Aston Villa, while Ivanovic has been linked with a move to France's Paris Saint Germain.

But the 29-year-old, sitting next to his new boss Jose Mourinho as he faced journalists in the ballroom of a plush Bangkok hotel, played down the rumour.

"We are not so focused on that kind of thing," he said.

"I've always said I'm happy to be here. I will do everything and I will work hard to do everything for the club and nothing will change until the last day I'm here," Ivanovic added.


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