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Everton slip to third successive defeat

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea defender Bridge signs new year deal

Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge has agreed a new contract that will keep him in west London until 2012.

Bridge had been linked with a £5million move to Portsmouth but the England defender ended any doubt over his future by pledging his future to the Champions League finalists.

'I'm just happy. I love it at Chelsea - the lads, the staff, everybody. I'm happy to be here, hopefully for the next four years,' he said.

Bridge has made 130 appearances for Chelsea since arriving from Southampton for £7million in 2003.

The 27-year-old started just nine games last season as he continued his battle for the left-back duties with club and international colleague Ashley Cole.

But the rivalry with Cole and his place in the pecking order has not diminished his enthusiasm for life at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said: 'I'm very pleased that Wayne has committed his future to Chelsea.

'I have been here only a few days but have seen that he is one of the best professionals at the club. I very much like his playing style.'

Bridge agreed the new contract last month, before the arrival of Scolari.

However, the deal was completed with Scolari's knowledge with the decision being made to delay the announcement until the Brazilian began work at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: 'We're delighted that Wayne has committed himself to Chelsea for the next four years.

'He's a key member of the squad and we are fortunate at Chelsea that we have the two best left-backs in England.

'That is a source of pride to us.'

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