Football

John Terry is not done with football

Long-serving captain to leave Chelsea at end of season but plans to play on

John Terry insists he still has "plenty to offer" despite announcing he will leave Chelsea in the summer.

The 36-year-old will end a 22-year association with the Blues when his contract expires, having won 14 major honours at Stamford Bridge since making his first-team debut in 1998.

Terry has been a bit-part player this season, featuring in just five Premier League games for Antonio Conte's league leaders.

The Chelsea captain was linked with a January move to Bournemouth due to his lack of game-time, but he remained in west London.

Terry has not featured since a 2-0 FA Cup win over Wolves in February, with his last league appearance coming in November.

Other than a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, Terry has never turned out for another side and has racked up more than 700 appearances at Chelsea.

But now the former England skipper is ready to move on, even if he admits he is unsure what his future holds at this point.

"I will decide on my future in due course but, for now, I am committed to helping the team achieve success this season," he said.

"After 22 years, there is so much to say and so many people to thank at this great football club. From coaches, teammates and staff to the fans who have given me so much support down the years, I can't thank you enough.

"There will be opportunities for me to speak further about this over the coming weeks.

"I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch, but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited for me.

"I'm eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge.

"I will, of course, always be a Blue and am desperate to end my final season as a Chelsea player with more silverware."

Terry has lifted four Premier League titles during his time in west London as well as five FA Cups and a hat-trick of League Cups.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

He also won the Europa League under Rafael Benitez and lifted the Champions League trophy in 2012 despite being suspended for the final against Bayern Munich.

In announcing his decision to leave, Terry suggested he will one day return to Stamford Bridge.

"The club and I have always had a fantastic relationship, which will continue beyond my playing days," he added.

"We had some really positive talks but, with everything taken into careful consideration, I have decided it's the right time for me to leave.

"I've always been conscious that I depart at the right time, in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club and I."

Terry was named PFA Player of the Year in 2005 and collected 78 England caps before retiring from the international scene.

Long-time teammate Frank Lampard hailed Terry as the EPL's greatest defender.

The former midfielder wrote on Instagram: "He set standards for everyone, whether it was demanding excellence in training, fighting for every win or respecting how fortunate we were to play for such a great club." - PA SPORT


WHERE NEXT?

CHINA

The current favoured location for ageing stars looking for a new adventure and a colossal pay day. If Terry (left) moves to China, he would join former Chelsea teammates such as Oscar, Ramires, Jon Obi Mikel, Oscar, Alexandre Pato and Ricardo Carvalho.

UNITEd ARAB EMIRATES

Terry’s former Blues teammate Dan Petrescu, who is managing UAE club Al Nasr, has suggested recently he would be keen to make his friend an offer.

UNITED STATES

Terry revealed in an interview at the end of 2015 he could see ‘’maybe there is a time’’ when he would look to go to play in America, making Major League Soccer a possible destination.

ELSE WHERE IN ENGLAND

Was linked with a January move to Bournemouth due to his lack of game time, but he stayed in west London. He did not rule out a move to another English club, but a strong suspicion remains that he will head for new shores when he hangs up his blue shirt.

AUSTRALIA

Terry led Chelsea in a glamour friendly against Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium in June 2015, which attracted a crowd of some 83,598. There would certainly be plenty of interest in making Terry one of the A-League’s marquee players. — PA SPORT

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