Chelsea release five players as contracts expire today including Gary Cahill and Gonzalo Higuain

GONZALO HIGUAIN heads a group of five Chelsea players who have been released from the club.

The Argentina striker will return to parent club Juventus after his six-month-long loan, while Gary Cahill and Rob Green also leave the club.

Keeper Eduardo and youngster Kyle Scott have also been let go as the Blues prepare their squad – and new manager – for next season.

Higuain, 31, flopped at Stamford Bridge with just five goals in 18 games.

The Blues have decided not to pursue another loan move or permanent deal despite being hamstrung by a transfer ban this summer.

Higuain, who reportedly earned an eye-watering £270k-a-week at Chelsea, will instead return to Juve where he will link up with Maurizio Sarri, who brought him to the Premier League.

At least he returns £6.2m better off.

Cahill, 33, has officially left after seven years at Stamford Bridge.

Blues exodus

The ex-England centre-back won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, two Europa Leagues, the Champions League and League Cup since joining from Bolton.

Arsenal is one shock club linked with a move for the free agent.

Experienced keeper Green, 39, was drafted in last summer but the £20,000-a-week ex-England star made no appearances for the club.

However, he was able to lift the Europa League trophy before his exit.

Fellow stopper Eduardo, 36, spent last season on loan at at Vitesse Arnhem, while Scott, 21, made one appearance for Chelsea in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Hull in February 2018.

The Blues said in a statement: "All five formed a part of our men’s first team squad for all or some of their Chelsea careers, and we would like to wish them the best for the future."

Frank Lampard is expected to be announced as the Blues' new manager before the players return to training on Friday.

The Derby boss, 41, was today given permission to miss training and continue negotiating with Chelsea about a fairy tale return as manager.

He will be given extra time to impress given the club's transfer ban, as well as the massive loss of Eden Hazard.

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