Ashley Cole set to leave Chelsea this summer

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Chelsea look set to part ways with Ashley Cole, with the player - who is out of contract this summer - having taken to Twitter to reveal that it does not look like staying with the club will be one of his options for next season.

Left-back Cole - who first moved to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal in 2005 as part of a controversial part-exchange deal also involving William Gallas - courteously took the time to thank the Blues' fans, staff and players and confirmed that he will now be searching for a new challenge for the next phase of his illustrious career.

"I am weighing up my options for playing next season with my agent and sadly it does not look like chelsea will be one of them," he said on Monday night.

"Thank u Chelsea FC for making my 8 years there a pleasure to work all the staff and players, we've been through a lot, good and bad. And of course the fans, how do I start, I can only say thank u for giving the boys confidence to win some amazing trophies, and once again.

"And this tweet is to the FANS that have stood buy me through thick and thin, I will always have u in my hearts, #cfcfans. And now I'll be looking for another journey in my life hope it can be like my others full of fun and of course WIN something."

Cole - who was long considered to be the best left-back in the world during his heyday - was certainly successful at Chelsea, winning one Premier League title and four FA Cups in addition to the Champions League.

However, he had become a rather peripheral figure in West London this season, with Jose Mourinho often choosing to deploy Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back.

Just what is next for Cole remains to be seen, but the 33-year-old presumably won't be be short of offers.

Indeed, according to recent reports, both Liverpool and Serie A giants Inter Milan have been monitoring his current situation.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' squad would certainly benefit from the addition of a new left-sided defender, particularly given Jose Enrique's recent injury woes.

Wealthy French outfit Monaco have also been linked with a move for Cole, with the club seemingly well-positioned to match his £120,000-per-week wages.

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Ashley Cole
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