Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto'o leave Chelsea after contracts end

Ashley Cole of Chelsea
Ashley Cole spent eight years at Chelsea

Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto'o have been released by Chelsea.

The contracts of the former England full-back and the Cameroon striker, both 33, expired on Monday, and neither was offered fresh terms.

"Cole has a very strong claim to be the club's greatest player of all time in his position," read a statement.external-link

"Chelsea thanks Ashley for the fantastic service throughout his eight years here and for helping to bring so many trophies home."

Eto'o departsexternal-link having scored 12 goals in his 35 appearances since signing a one-year deal from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala last August.

Ashley Cole's Chelsea career
Aug 2006 Signs from Arsenal
May 2010 Wins the Premier League title and FA Cup
May 2012 Wins a record seventh FA Cup final
May 2012 Wins the Champions League final at the third time of asking
May 2013 Wins the Europa League
May 2014 Announces he is likely to have played his last game for club

One out-of-contract player who is staying, though, is goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

The 41-year-old Australian has signed another one-year dealexternal-link after making 13 appearances for Jose Mourinho's side following his free transfer move from Fulham last summer.

His game time may be more scarce this season, though, after the club confirmed Belgium international keeper Thibaut Courtois would return after three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid.

The 22-year-old helped the Spanish side to the La Liga title last season, and a place in the Champions League final.

Another back-up goalkeeper, Hilario, departs after eight years at the club, as does 24-year-old defender Sam Hutchinson.