Cole set for Chelsea exit after eight seasons

Ashley Cole is set to leave Chelsea after eight seasons with the Premier League club, the defender revealed on Monday.

Cole tweeted that Chelsea 'does not look like' an option for him next season with the veteran defender having been linked with a free transfer to both Liverpool and Manchester City.

The left-back's contract essentially expired after Chelsea's 2-1 win at Cardiff on the final day of the 2013-14 Premier League season.

"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," Cole tweeted on Monday, followed by four blue hearts.

Cole has made 338 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, since joining the Stamford Bridge outfit from Arsenal before the 2006-07 season.

But the 33-year-old did drop down the pecking order this season, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho regularly preferring 24-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back.

Cole won the 2009-10 Premier League title with Chelsea, while also claiming winners medals for four FA Cups, the 2012 UEFA Champions League and the 2013 UEFA Europa League.

It has been a tumultuous fortnight for Cole, as he announced his retirement from international football on May 11, after being told he had missed out on Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad for the FIFA World Cup.