Cole and Alex next for Chelsea deals
Chelsea are to concentrate on finalising new long-term contracts for Brazilian defender Alex and England midfielder Joe Cole following Salomon Kalou's decision to sign a new three-year deal. Alex is understood to be on the brink of accepting a new two-year offer while Cole, whose current contract expires next year, is expected to be handed a longer contract. 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."
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