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    Cole and Ballack depart Blues


    by ODN


    Chelsea say midfield duo Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will leave the club this summer.

    Both players' contracts expire at the end of this month and the future of Cole in particular has been the subject of increasing speculation.

    The 28-year-old, who is part of England's World Cup squad in South Africa, has already been linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

    He arrived at Stamford Bridge in a £6.6million deal from West Ham in the summer of 2003.

    Ballack leaves Chelsea after four years with the club unwilling to offer the German the two-year contract he was seeking.

    The 33-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge following the end of his contract at Bayern Munich with a reputation as one of Europe's best players and on the back of a brilliant World Cup.

    But he has largely failed to live up to that billing, with injuries keeping him out of the team for lengthy spells.

    Ballack helped Chelsea to their first Premier League title in four years this season while he also won the FA Cup three times.

    But it was an ankle injury sustained in the last of those finals against Portsmouth in May that saw him ruled out of the World Cup, where he would have captained Germany.