Salomon Kalou signed a new contract with Chelsea on Monday and was immediately praised by coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The Blues are eager to tie down players who are due to be out of contract next summer as they battle to limit the damage of the transfer ban which prevents them from registering any new players until 2011. And Kalou has penned a three-year deal to end speculation over his future after he was linked with a move to Arsenal in the last window.
Kalou, who is reported to have signed a deal worth £60,000-a-week, follows Didier Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Florent Malouda, Hilario and Michael Mancienne in commiting his future to the club.
"I am very pleased that Salomon has signed a new contract with us as he is an important player for this club,'' said Ancelotti. "He is always well motivated and works hard at his game at all times. Because of this I am sure that Salomon will become an even more important player for Chelsea in the future.''
Kalou has been a bit-part player for Chelsea since joining the club in the summer of 2006. With 93 starts compared to 66 substitute appearances it was thought he may look to move on when his contract expires, but he has opted to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will be without the striker in February when he is expected to be part of the Ivory Coast squad at the African Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, Germany captain Michael Ballack has given Chelsea some more good news after revealing his ankle injury is not as bad as was first feared. The Chelsea midfielder sustained the problem in a first-half collision with Blues team-mate Yuri Zhirkov during Germany's 1-0 qualifying win in Moscow.
"It is not that serious as we had thought,'' said Ballack. "During the match it was pretty much aching, but afterwards it was not. It is pretty fine now though. I believe I could be ready for the match on Wednesday as thankfully it was not a big thing.''