Chelsea are ready to go with Ryan Bertrand AHEAD of Ashley Cole from next season.

The Sunday Mirror says the Blues plan to start next season with 32-year-old Cole and his deputy Bertrand on an even footing.

The pair will get equal ­opportunities to cement their place as the club's first-choice left-back.

Chelsea drew up a ­development plan for 23-year-old Bertrand last year. They set him a target of making 15 Premier League appearances this season and he has already made 13.

Barring injury or loss of form, Bertrand is then ­expected to start next term 50-50 with Cole before ­beginning the 2014-15 ­season as Chelsea's ­first-choice left-back.

Chelsea decided against replacing England star Cole because they do not want to block highly-rated ­Bertrand's path.

It was also calculated that keeping the former Arsenal ace for an extra year on big wages would still be ­cheaper than trying to sign a replacement.