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Tomas Kalas has told GetWestLondon that he believes his Chelsea career is over and feels a strong loan spell with Fulham could secure him a permanent deal with the Whites or somewhere else.

The Czech central defender’s fine form at Craven Cottage has seen him force his way into the national side and he is acutely aware that he needs to be playing regular football to further his international ambitions. Kalas is quite dismissive of the prospect of making Chelsea’s first team – having made just two appearances since joining the club back in 2010 – and believes Antonio Conte will just buy a new centre half to replace John Terry this summer.

Kalas told GetWestLondon journalist Paul Warburton after Fulham’s win over Reading at the weekend:

Chelsea are trying to build a big team; there’s nothing wrong in that. We loan players are trying to get into the first team, but it’s very difficult. John Terry can’t keep going forever: that’s obvious. But there is another player they can buy and build a team from there.

When you go on loan you want to play. At the end of the season, I’ve only got one more year left on my contract. So I’m playing for more than just building a CV.

Chelsea had reportedly come close to agreeing a fee with Middlesbrough after Kalas’ successful loan spell had helped Aitor Karanka’s side win promotion to the Premier League – and there is no doubt that Fulham would be keen to make the centre back’s switch permanent. The 23 year-old has helped Fulham keep six clean sheets in his thirteen appearances so far and made a massive contribution to Slavisa Jokanovic’s largely successful attempt to eradicate the defensive errors that have blighted their previous Championship campaigns.