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What next for John Terry?

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John Terry announced on Monday that he will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.

[ MORE: How Mourinho’s masterplan worked

The banner at Stamford Bridge which simply reads “captain, leader, legend” sums up Terry’s importance, and legacy, at the west London club.

Terry, 36, has won 14 major titles at Chelsea, 13 of them as captain, and the central defender has been one of the most consistent and talented defenders in world soccer over the past 15 years.

All good things must come to an end, though, and with Terry playing just five times in the Premier League this season and not used by Antonio Conte in Chelsea’s defeat at Manchester United on Sunday (Kurt Zouma was instead brought in when Marcos Alonso‘s illness caused a reshuffle) the writing has been on the wall for a while.

The timing of the announcement is a little bizarre, especially given that defeat to United which cut Chelsea’s lead atop the PL table to four points, and it makes you wonder if Terry is putting clubs on red alert for the summer so they can plan ahead to bring him in. Terry will still have a pivotal role in pushing Chelsea towards the PL title in the final weeks of the season, be it on the pitch or from the bench, but it’s obvious Conte believes it is best that the Englishman moves on.

Remember, it looked like Terry was leaving at the end of last season but he and the club eventually signed a one-year extension so he could play for a 19th season at Chelsea. That won’t happen again and the Chelsea legend will now move on to continue his playing career as he said he was “eager to carry on playing” and confirmed he’s looking at “new challenges” elsewhere. As a free agent he is a very attractive proposition, even if his wage demands will be over $100,000 per week.

He still has plenty to offer, with Terry playing in every single second of Chelsea’s 2014-15 title-winning season and although injuries hampered him last season he still made 33 appearances in all competitions.

Where next?

Major League Soccer seems like the front-runner for Terry with LA Galaxy, the new LAFC franchise, plus Portland Timbers, Atlanta United, NYCFC, Minnesota United and others all linked with a move for the legendary defender. There’s no doubting Terry’s quality and unlike most DP defenders he’d sell jerseys and surely have a big impact if he did head to North America’s top-flight. Maybe he could end up in Phoenix with his good pal Didier Drogba in the USL? Who knows…

His other options appear to be staying in the Premier League or heading to the Chinese Super League.

We hear this every time a Premier League veteran is linked with a move to the Chinese Super League but Terry has a young family and staying in England or heading to MLS would seem like the most preferable option for him on a personal level. In the PL plenty of clubs could do with Terry and it seems like he has at least another two years left in the tank.

His boyhood club West Ham United have been rumored to be interested in him, while West Brom had previously voiced an interest in Terry. Would he play for a top six club in the PL next season? Probably not. Yet the likes of Everton, West Brom or West Ham would give him the opportunity to prove he can play in the top-flight for another few seasons before maybe calling it quits or indeed heading to MLS or China for one final, final swansong.

At the moment imagining Terry in anything other than a Chelsea shirt seems bizarre. Even the old footage of him in a Nottingham Forest shirt while he was there on loan there in 1999 doesn’t look right.

Mr. Chelsea is moving on and Terry will have a huge number of offers on the table.

Watch Live: Swansea host Manchester United

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Swansea City welcome Manchester United to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with Jose Mourinho’s side aiming to stay top of the Premier League table.

[ STREAM: Swansea v. Man United ]

Yes, it’s early days, but the Red Devils were imperious in their thumping 4-0 win against West Ham United to open their season. Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic dominated and Mourinho’s men are now a powerful, well-oiled machine.

As for Swansea, they struggled at Southampton but came away with a draw, however the main storyline surrounding the South Wales side this week has been losing Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton for over $60 million. Paul Clement will have to act fast to spend that cash wisely, but there is no doubt the Swans will miss their Icelandic playmaker.

In team news Swansea bring in Kyle Bartley and Roque Mesa as they line up in a 3-5-2 formation with Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham up top.

Man United are, unsurprisingly, unchanged.

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Fabianski; Fernandez, Bartley, Mawson; Naughton, Mesa, Fer, Carroll, Olsson; Ayew, Abraham. Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, van der Hoorn, Fulton, Narsingh, Routledge, McBurnie.

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Mata, Rashford; Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Smalling, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Martial

Arsenal sends Gabriel Paulista to Valencia

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Arsenal has a thin defense, but that hasn’t stopped Arsene Wenger from thinning the squad even further.

Gabriel Paulista is headed back to the Spanish top flight after the completion of his transfer to Valencia. The Brazilian was sold for a reported $12.8 million, just below the $14 million price tag Arsenal coughed up to Villareal back in January, 2015. He will partner with Manchester City loanee Eliaquim Mangala at Valencia.

The 26-year-old made 64 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions, including 46 in the Premier League. His only goal for the club was Arsenal’s first of a 2-0 win over Bournemouth in December, 2015. His high-water mark with the club was a 120-minute performance against Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinals where Arsenal came back to win 2-1 on an Alexis Sanchez goal in extra time.

“We would like to thank Gabriel for his contribution to the club and to wish him well for his return to La Liga with Valencia,” Arsenal said in its confirmation of the deal.

Paulista was utilized more than expected last season thanks to an injury crisis at the back, and still the Arsenal squad doesn’t seem fat enough to offload defenders, but Gabriel’s over-aggressive nature and tackling inaccuracy led him to an early exit.

With Arsene Wenger now deploying a back-three, the only natural central defenders currently on the roster are Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi, and Rob Holding. Koscielny is suspended from a red card at the end of last season, and Mertesacker is battling a head injury. Sead Kolasinac, Nacho Monreal, and Calum Chambers have played CB for the Gunners in the recent past, but it is not their natural position.

Fabian Johnson misses Gladbach training with injury

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With John Brooks already out long-term due to a thigh injury, the United States may have another key injury to work around.

According to Borussia Monchengladbach manager Dieter Hecking, full-back/winger Fabian Johnson missed training on Friday due to an unspecified injury, and is now a question mark for Gladbach’s home match on Sunday against FC Koln. It could be nothing, but even the scare is cause for concern among U.S. fans.

Johnson has battled a few injuries the past couple of seasons, including a hamstring problem last spring that kept him out for nearly two months, including a pair of World Cup qualifiers in March.

Johnson’s absence would leave a hole at right-back for the United States. The 29-year-old has been deployed some at right wing for the USMNT, but he has been relatively poor at that position in the national setup, looking better when pushed further back where he is given more defensive duties, roaming forward with less frequency but more intent.

In place of Johnson, another converted winger in Graham Zusi has been seeing more time at right-back, but he offers less in the attack and lacks Johnson’s recovery speed, meaning mistakes by the Sporting KC veteran are punished more often.

Falcao scores again to extend red hot start

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Monaco is hoping to ride out the final two weeks of the transfer window with 18-year-old wonderkid Kylian Mbappe still in tow.

While they wait, they aren’t missing a beat.

With Mbappe out of the squad, Radamel Falcao has begun the 2017/18 Ligue 1 season as Europe’s hottest goalscorer. He bagged a hat-trick last weekend with Mbappe on the bench to give him four goals in the first two league matches. Then, with Mbappe out of the squad entirely, Falcao netted the winner in a 1-0 road win over FC Metz.

Falcao has scored five goals so far this year, and his club has a +5 goal differential. In a way, Falcao has already been worth six points thus far.

Thanks in part to Ligue 1’s early start, Falcao’s five league goals are by far more than anyone else in the major European leagues. Four players have scored a pair of Premier League goals, nobody in La Liga or the Bundesliga have scored more than one, and the Serie A season has yet to start.

The Colombian did the same thing last season. After eventually coming off the shelf from to hamstring and concussion problems to start the season, Falcao scored 10 goals in 10 Ligue 1 matches leading up to the new calendar year.

At 31 years old, Falcao isn’t a long-term solution and the club will clearly look to retain Mbappe despite Falcao’s hot start, but should they lose the young Frenchman, the club will be in good hands while they search for a replacement over the next year.