Sunday, January 31, 2016 9:49 pm
It is still 15 games away to the end of the English Premier League, but Chelsea captain John Terry has hinted he will be leaving the club.
He dropped the bombshell on Sunday after the club decided not to renew his contract.
“I was in (for talks) last week before the Arsenal game and it is not going to be extended,” Terry, 35, told reporters after his side’s 5-1 win at second-tier Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup fourth round.
“It’s not going to be a fairytale ending. I’m not going to retire at Chelsea. It’s going to be elsewhere, which it took me a couple of days to get over.” But he ruled out playing for another premier league club.
Terry has made 696 appearances for Chelsea and is the club’s most successful captain, having won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the 2012 Champions League and the 2013 Europa League.
He was named in the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Team of the Season after leading Chelsea to last season’s league title, but his performances this campaign have not been to the same standard, mirroring the London club’s slide down the league standings.
He could now follow former England team-mates David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole by moving to the United States.
“It’s my last run in the FA Cup, so I want to make it a good one,” he said.
“It’s a big season for me and I want to push on — not just in this competition, but in the Premier League as well.
“I knew before the Arsenal game (which Chelsea won 1-0), so mentally I’ve kind of accepted it. We just have to move on and climb the league.
“They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change. It’s a no at the minute.
Terry’s impending departure means that Chelsea will lose the last remaining element from the team built by Mourinho that won back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006.
Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech have all since moved on, leaving Terry, who made his debut in October 1998, as the sole player branching the two generations.
A brave, no-nonsense centre-back in the finest English traditions, Terry is an iconic figure at Stamford Bridge, where a banner proclaims him: “CAPTAIN. LEADER. LEGEND.”
But his 78-cap England career ended in September 2012 when he retired from international football after the Football Association charged him with racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, brother of his England team-mate Rio Ferdinand.