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Tomas Kalas has signed on for a second successive season at Craven Cottage after finalising another loan from Chelsea, Fulham confirmed this lunchtime.

The announcement ends a protracted set of summer negotiations to Slavisa Jokanovic’s satisfication with the Czech international centre back rejecting serious interest from Hull, Middlesbrough and Besiktas to opt for another year with Fulham. The 24 year-old defender, so impressive at the heart of Fulham’s rejigged defence as the Whites reached the Championship play-off semi-finals last term, will hope to secure another promotion to the Premier League this year, having already reached the top flight in a previous loan stint on Teesside.

The return of Kalas, who made 36 league appearances last season, will solidify Jokanovic’s defensive options with the league opener against Norwich now days away. The Czech international, who had made public his desire to stay with Fulham, may feature in Saturday’s friendly against Wolfsburg – and his popularity, both amongst his team-mates and Fulham fans, is not in doubt. It also represents a serious coup for Jokanovic as he plots another tilt at the top of the Championship.

Fulham vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan, told the club’s official website:

It’s a pleasure to welcome Tomas Kalas back to the Fulham Football Club. We appreciate Tomas so much after the way that he battled for us last season, demonstrating not only tremendous skill but also great heart and determination. We’re very excited to have him here again as one of us as we prepare for our next battle, and what we hope will be a great season!