Chelsea’s 35-year-old captain John Terry will not sign a new contract at the club and will leave in the summer, according to reports.
Terry joined Chelsea as a 14-year-old and has so far played 696 games for the West London club, winning the Premier League four times, the FA Cup five times and the Champion’s League once. Much like with his former team-mate Frank Lampard, though, he’s decided to call time on his Chelsea career, saying, “Ideally, I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction”.
There does seem to be some confusion over the matter, however, with the club themselves suggesting an agreement could yet be reached to keep their captain at the club. A spokesman for Chelsea said, “John was advised that while no new deal was currently on the table, that situation could change in the coming months. The club has the utmost respect for John and everything he has helped us achieve to date. He is a fantastic servant of Chelsea and a superb captain. As such, the club will keep the channels of dialogue open”.
Terry, though, seems convinced that he’ll be moving on, saying, “It’s a ‘no’ at the minute. The club will move on. No player is ever bigger than the club. No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre-backs. I feel as though I’m in great nick, I’m playing great and I’ve got a couple of years to go”.
Several people agree with Terry, including his current centre-back partner Kurt Zouma who said, “I think he can play for another one or two years. For me, he can play many more times. He is still at a top level. He has been playing very well since I arrived at Chelsea. His performances have been consistent. Since I have been at the club, I haven’t seen him play badly. That’s the truth.
Chris Sutton, who played for Chelsea in the 1999-2000 season, said it was ‘disappointing’ that Chelsea were willing to allow Terry to leave. He told BBC Radio 5 live, “Clubs don’t show enough loyalty to players. John Terry’s been a tremendous servant, he’s been outstanding for the last 15 or 20 years for Chelsea and he deserves better”.
The chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group, Trizia Fiorellino, confirmed that Chelsea fans feel similarly disappointed by the news, saying, “He played every minute of every league game last season and we won the title. I think the club owe us an explanation”.
Terry is certain that if he does leave the club then it won’t be for another English team. He said, “It will be elsewhere for sure. I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It’s not going to be a fairytale ending. I’m not going to retire at Chelsea, which it took me a couple of days to get over”.
Terry has played more games for a single club than anyone other than Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. He has notched up 477 leagues games for the defending Premier League champions and has captained the team during their most successful ever spell. He is also the highest-scoring defender ever in the Premier League with 40 goals to his name.
Terry saw his game time limited under Jose Mourinho at the start of this season, with the Portuguese boss even substituting him at half-time during Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City at The Etihad in August. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was sacked by Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, at the end of last year and Guus Hiddink came in to replace him on an interim basis. Hiddink has restored Terry to the Blues’ starting line-up since his arrival.
Though the Chelsea defender’s career has been littered with numerous successes, he’s also suffered his fair share of problems during his time at the club. In the 2008 Champions League final he missed the penalty that saw Manchester United lift the cup, whilst in 2010 he was temporarily stripped of the club’s captaincy after it emerged that he had had an affair with his former team-mate Wayne Bridge’s partner. He was also stripped of the captaincy in 2012 and banned for four matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Queen’s Park Rangers’s defender Anton Ferdinand by the Football Association.