Chelsea hand Alex new four-year deal
LONDON (AFP) - The spate of new contracts for Chelsea's current squad continued Wednesday with Brazilian centreback Alex signing a new four-year deal at the English Premier League leaders. The 27-year-old has been sidelined recently following surgery on his groin but resumed full training this week. "I am very happy to start again to train and feel no pain, and to sign for four more years," Alex said. The defender is also targetting a return to the Brazil side in the run-up to next year's World Cup finals in South Africa. "To go back into the national team is important to me," he added. "Also the Chelsea team started very well this season, is at the top, and this season to win the Premier League is important to me. Now I want to play." Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti said he was delighted to tie Alex down to a long term deal. "He is just returning from injury and surgery but he is a player I know well," Ancelotti said. "I am familiar with all of his fantastic qualities, so I am delighted he will be with us for another four years." Alex, who has made 80 Chelsea appearances and scored seven goals since signing from PSV Eindhoven in 2007, is the second Chelsea player to commit to a new contract this week. Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou signed a new deal on Monday and Didier Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Florent Malouda, Hilario and Michael Mancienne have all penned new contracts since the end of last season. Chelsea have been keen to tie down their current players after being banned from signing any new players until January 2010 as a result of being found guilty of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens two years ago.
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