Chelsea waved goodbye to five first-team squad members last night as their Stamford Bridge contracts expired.
Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Henrique Hilario, Samuel Eto’o and Sam Hutchinson are all now free agents.
The Blues had already paid tribute to Lampard on their website following his announcement that he would be leaving the west London club last month.
But they were yet to formally confirm that the other four players would be leaving as the clock struck midnight on June 31.
That confirmation has now arrived in the form of farewell messages to each of the out-of-contract stars on the club’s official website.
Cole and Eto’o are described by the club as some of the world’s greatest players, while Hilario is also thanked for his contributions over the last eight years.
Hutchinson, an academy graduate who joined Chelsea the age of seven, was wished success for the future in what the Blues hope will be a long career.
Meanwhile, Lampard is set to join New York City FC and will play for their sister club Melbourne City FC from October before the new MLS season kicks off.