Looking ahead: Which Chelsea FC players are entering the final year of their contract?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea celebrates with his teammate Ashley Cole of Chelsea after Sturridge scored the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on October 15, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Entering this past offseason, Chelsea FC had 6 players who were in the final year of their current deal. Yuri Zhirkov was sold over the summer, Nicolas Anelka was sold in January, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, and Jose Bosingwa will be departing this summer, and Henrique Hilario extended for one more season. Guys entering the last year of their contracts seem to be easy candidates to either extend or sell, and with Chelsea (wisely) doing a mass signing after the 2009/2010 season we'll see quite a few more reaching their expiration in a year. The following players will have just 12 months to go on their contract come June 1st:

Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda, Paulo Ferreira, Ross Turnbull, Henrique Hilario, Sam Hutchinson, Yossi Benayoun, Daniel Sturridge, Marko Mitrovic, Adam Phillip, Aziz Deen-Conteh, James Ashton, Ben Gordon, and Rohan Ince

This list is pretty large, and it contains some interesting names. Both backup keepers are on this list, and quite a few key contributors are included here as well. Daniel Sturridge is by far the most concerning name to see here though, as should he choose not to extend this summer it's hard to picture us allowing him to leave for nothing. It's probably a bit early to get worried about this type of stuff, but be aware none the less. So what would you all be doing with these guys? Who would you extend? Who would you sell? Are you willing to let any of these guys play out their contract and potentially leave for free? Discuss...

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