By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Chelsea's Didier Drogba is the most high-profile free agent at the current moment but his decision to depart the club had been announced in the immediate aftermath of Chelsea's Champions League win on May 19. Kalou, in contrast, had been doing his utmost to convince his bosses that he deserved to stay at the club.
The Ivory Coast international appeared to be on the way out back in January as he had been reduced to a bit-part player by then-manager Andre Villas-Boas. Under interim manager Roberto di Matteo, however, he was given a new lease of life and he scored a crucial goal in Chelsea's quarter-final first leg against Benfica.
Since then, he went on to play in both FA Cup final and Champions League final victories over Liverpool and Bayern Munich respectively but he was unable to make an equally strong impact. And with Chelsea seeking to refresh their squad with the reported signings of Eden Hazard and Hulk in addition to the confirmed transfer of Marko Marin, it has been confirmed that the west London club have chosen to terminate Kalou's contract.
All clubs are required to submit their players released and players retained lists to the Premier League by the third Saturday in May, apart from Chelsea who had a deadline of four days following the Champions League final. Jose Bosingwa also joins Kalou on the way out as he was deemed surplus to requirements as well.
Other notable players include Manchester United's Michael Owen and former Arsenal regular Manuel Almunia. United's reserve goalkeeper Tomas Kuszczak will also have to search for a new club as he failed to break into the first team during his five seasons at the club.
Aston Villa have also chosen to release Emile Heskey on a free transfer following a disappointing season that saw him score only one league goal.
Tottenham have chosen to end the contract of long-serving defender Ledley King and they have also parted ways with Luis Saha who only joined the club on a short-term contract back in January.
Owen Hargreaves is also a free agent as his one-year sojourn at Manchester City came to an end. He only made four appearances for the Citizens in their title-winning season.
Other notable players released: Danny Guthrie (Newcastle), Craig Gordon (Sunderland), James McFadden (Everton), Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa), Fabio Aurelio (Liverpool), Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham), Paul Scharner (West Brom), Chris Kirkland (Wigan).