Chelsea and midfielder Michael Ballack agreed on a one-year contract extension Tuesday.
Hooway! Not really.
But I'm OK with this move. Ballack's 08-09 term was clipped by injuries at the start and, though he never really recovered to that imperious form he displayed at the end of the last campaign, he did prove vital in our late-season surge. His performance against Barcelona, in particular, in a new deep-lying role, restored my faith.
The new deal will keep the German national team captain at Stamford Bridge through June 2010.
"I am very happy to be staying here," Ballack told Chelseafc.com. "It was always my intention to stay until at least the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
"We had a fantastic end to the season, winning the FA Cup, and we are all looking forward to taking this success into the new season under Carlo Ancelotti, our new manager."
Flo & Alex on the verge of new deals
Two of this season's best performers are set to remain in London for the foreseeable future.
The Evening Standard reports Carlo Ancelotti will offer Malouda and Alex new deals as soon as nex tweek. Alex, who supplanted Ricky Carvalho as EBJT's first-choice partner in central defense after the departure of Big Phil, looks set to wrap up a three-year deal worth about £60,000 a week
Malouda only has 12 months left on his current contract, but the man who has been an inspiration over the last three months -- following a year-plus of lowered expectations -- is looking at a two-year extension. This deal will see his salary rise from £50,000 a week to around £65,000 per.
Drogs also in for new contract
Within the next week, another major player in Chelsea's late-season surge will re-up with the club. Didier Drogba is to be handed a three-year extension despite his tumultous tirade following the Blues' exit from the Champions League against Barcelona.
The Ivorian battering ram was ressurected under Guus Hiddink and, if he can continue that kind of form, will be welcome back at the Bridge with open arms.