Chelsea tie Alex down with four-year deal as Joe Cole gets set to follow
Chelsea defender Alex has signed a new four-year deal to stay at Stamford Bridge. The Brazilian is the second player to commit his future to the Blues after striker Salomon Kalou penned a three-year deal on Monday. Alex, who has recovered from a groin operation, told the club's website: 'It was easy to decide to sign and now I hope to get back to playingwell. My condition now is so-so. I think in two more weeks I am 100 percent and can play without a problem. 'I am very happy to start again to train and feel no pain, and to sign for four more years.' The club also expect Joe Cole to finalise a new deal as the midfielder is out of contract next year. Chelsea are determined to tie-up as many of their stars on fresh deals following FIFA's transfer ban. The Blues are prevented from signing any players in the next two transfer windows after being found guilty of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens two years ago. Chelsea have appealed against the verdict and are hopeful of getting it overturned but in the meantime they are determined to keep their current squad together. Kalou, 24, joined John Terry, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Michael Mancienne in committing his long-term future to the club when he signed his new contract. There had been some rumoured cross-capital interest in the player from Arsenal, but the Ivorian is delighted to be remaining at Stamford Bridge. Kalou also helped Ivory Coast reach next summer's World Cup in South Africa over the weekend, and the new contract caps a fine week for him personally. 'I am delighted to stay here for the next three years so I can improve my game and play more games,' said Kalou. 'I heard a lot, there was some interest in me, but I think I made the best choice of signing a new contract here at the Bridge. 'Hopefully I can get more chances from the manager and play more to improve my game. 'I am happy with my week, we qualified for the World Cup and I sign a new contract with Chelsea, it is an excellent week for me.' Meanwhile Portugal midfielder Deco is hoping he can rekindle his early season form after returning to the Chelsea side against Liverpool. Deco, given a new lease of life under Carlo Ancelotti, was in fine form until a calf injury left him struggling on the sidelines. But the Chelsea playmaker is hoping that his return to action will help him rediscover his game from a few weeks ago when he was played behind the main striker in Ancelotti's 'christmas tree' and 'diamond' formations. 'I was happy and I hope to start again now playing how I was earlier this season,' said Deco. 'I like the system we are playing - it is different to last season but I have played it before. I have played lots of different systems in the past and in the national team. 'I play this position between midfield and the strikers. I am comfortable to change some points but I always play in midfielder so there are only some differences.'
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