Ever since John Terry announced that Chelsea weren’t willing to offer him a new contract past the end of this season speculation has been rife about his next destination.
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Terry, 35, joined Chelsea as a schoolboy in 1995 and has been a pro for the Blues for 18 years.
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He will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest players in club history and be a legend of the Premier League but now all of the focus is on his next step, if there is one and no way back arrives with Chelsea.
So, what options does Terry have?
Let’s take a look…
- Stay at Chelsea – This seems very unlikely given Terry coming out in public to state Chelsea won’t be offering him a new deal. That said, interim boss Guus Hiddink said there will be more dialogue with Terry in the coming weeks and the skipper may have twisted Chelsea’s arm following the outpouring of support from fans and pundits towards him, plus the fact that Kurt Zouma has gone down with a long-term knee injury. He said he wants to stay. Let’s see if Chelsea do the right thing and offer him a new one-year deal.
- Return to West Ham? – An east Londoner, Terry was at West Ham before jumping ship to Chelsea as a teenager. He’s a local lad and perhaps if the Hammers’ ambitious owners push the boat out then they could persuade Terry to extend his PL career for another year. Multiple reports claim that West Ham want to make Terry on offer but given he amount of abuse he usually gets from West Ham fans during games against Chelsea, could be questionable. With the Olympic Stadium move next season, it could slot into place nicely for Terry although he has said repeatedly he won’t be staying in England if it’s not with Chelsea.
- MLS, but where? – That leads us nicely into the next potential destination for JT. As soon as he made his announcement it was basically taken as gospel that he’d be heading to Major League Soccer. Those suggesting he’d link up with his old Chelsea pals Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard (who would pay for his plane ticket over) and Ashley Cole in MLS may well be right but where would Terry land? LA has all its Designated Player spots used up, as does New York City FC and those wealthy clubs would perhaps be the only contenders to pay him the dough he will demand. Clubs like the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have huge fan support but would the front office really splash DP money on a center back? Maybe JT should wait for another year or two when LAFC, Minnesota United and Atlanta United is expected to enter the league. His old mate David Beckham could hook him up in MIA too, but even Terry may have hung up the boots by the time that franchise finally begins play…
- China, of course – Well, if all else fails then JT could just hop over to China for a few years and get mad money. That said, with only four overseas players allowed on each Chinese Super League team, most are midfield and attacking players. Would a CSL team use up one of those spots on a center back? Terry is also a lot older than the star names China is currently attracting with Ramires, Alex Teixeira and Jackson Martinez among them. He does have some contacts in China though, with his former managers Luiz Felipe Scolari and Sven-Goran Eriksson coaching in the CSL.