Chelsea could end up losing Ashley Cole on a free transfer next summer after the defender entered the final 12 months of his contract.

The Champions League winners are yet to offer the England left-back a new deal and Cole could make the decision to walk away from the club on a free next summer when he would surely have his pick of clubs.

Cole has been one of the most successful English players of recent times with three league titles, seven FA Cup triumphs, a League Cup and the Champions League title to his name in a distinguished playing career.

Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole now has less than 12 months remaining on his contract. [Reuters]

However, the Daily Mirror is reporting that he has now entered the final year of his contract and would be able to speak to foreign clubs in January if no deal has been agreed.

This is a similar situation to the one at Arsenal where Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are both in the final 12 months of their contract and speculation about their future at the Emirates has heightened.

The paper also believes that there are no meetings scheduled between the player and the club and that Cole could well be prepared to end his career away from Stamford Bridge.

The 31-year-old did play in the 3-2 loss to the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night and would almost certainly still be considered the number one left-back at the club even if he did not sign a new contract.

With 98 caps for England, Cole is still regarded as one of the best left-backs in world football and was one of the stand-out performers for England at Euro 2012.

Chelsea do have a young understudy in Ryan Bertrand who yesterday appeared for Team GB in the 1-1 draw against Senegal at the London Olympics.

Bertrand has certainly made a big impression on Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo who handed him his first European start in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.