Portugese World Cup stars Ricardo Carvalho and Deco are to be shown the door in the summer as Premier League champions Chelsea make way for new arrivals.
Carvalho has been one of Chelsea's most reliable players in recent years, since he joined from Porto for £19.85m in the summer of 2004, making 210 appearances for the club. He was a key player in the title wins of 2005 and 2006 and was voted the club's Player of the Year in 2008 but has fallen behind Alex in the defensive pecking order in the past two seasons.
Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, is happy to say goodbye to Carvalho, who has played 29 games this season, because he is keen to promote 18-year-old Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma to the first team. Chelsea also have cover in defence with the versatile Serb Branislav Ivanovic.
Carvalho, 31, had been expected to leave the club last summer but Internazionale failed to offer any money for the experienced defender and Chelsea refused to let him leave for nothing. Carvalho, who has 60 caps for Portugal, has two years left on his current deal so Chelsea will again expect to receive at least a nominal fee. Atletico Madrid are understood to be among the clubs interested in signing him.
Midfielder Deco, 32, has one year left on his contract but the club are willing to let him go if he requests to leave because his young son David Luiz is seriously ill in Brazil. The midfield playmaker, who joined Chelsea from Barcelona for £8m in June 2008, had seemed on his way to Internazionale 12 months ago but has undergone something of a renaissance since Ancelotti took charge, featuring in 28 games under the Italian. However Deco, who has 71 caps for Portugal, has expressed a desire to return to Brazil, where he was born and raised, for family reasons, and Chelsea do not wish to stand in his way. Fluminese of Rio de Janeiro have expressed interest in Deco.
Two other Portuguese stars are also likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. Full back Paulo Ferreira, who has 58 caps, has been at Chelsea since 2004, and still has three years to run on a contract extension he signed only a year ago.
But the 31-year-old has become little more than a fringe player this year, and with the Premier League rules that come into force next season limiting clubs to 17 foreign players, he is a luxury Chelsea cannot afford.
Chelsea will open contract talks with three players after Saturday's FA Cup final.
The club will offer terms to midfielders Joe Cole and Michael Ballack, both of whom are out of contract in the summer, and a new deal to Nicolas Anelka, who is entering the final year of his current contract.