Alex extends Chelsea stay

LONDON - The spate of new contracts for Chelsea's current squad continued yesterday with Brazilian centre-back Alex signing a new four-year deal at the English Premier League leaders.

LONDON - The spate of new contracts for Chelsea's current squad continued yesterday with Brazilian centre-back 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 targeting 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 said. "Also, the Chelsea team started very well this season, is at the top, and to win the Premier League this season is important to me."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti said: "I am familiar with all of his fantastic qualities, so I am delighted he will be with us for another four years."

Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou also signed a new deal on Monday. Didier Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda, Hilario and Michael Mancienne have all penned new contracts since the end of last season.

Chelsea are banned from signing any new players until January next year after being found guilty of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens. - Sapa-AFP

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