John Terry has landed a new five-year, £150,000-a-week contract by leveraging Manchester City's interest in signing him this summer. Chelsea had tried to keep the new deal under wraps until later in the season but news leaked out over the weekend that he is now the best-paid player in the Premier League along with Robinho.
The England captain has always protested that he was never interested in signing for City despite indications that he did much to encourage Mark Hughes' interest. Terry was offered in excess of £200,000-a-week by City and met with Roman Abramovich to discuss the future of the club before announcing in July that "there was never any intention of accepting any kind of offer".
With two years left on his existing £131,000-a-week deal, Terry's new contract will take him to the age of 33 and the end of his career. It is doubtful whether he would have been given the deal were it not for City's interest being used as a bargaining tool.
Chelsea and Terry have always maintained that he never wanted to leave and never asked for a pay rise. This has become difficult to take seriously in the light of a deal which makes Terry the highest-paid defender in the world and which noses him ahead of Frank Lampard as Chelsea's highest-earner.
Terry's new contract negotiations have been completed before that of Ashley Cole and Joe Cole, the latter of whom is in the last year of his deal. Terry, by contrast, still had two years to run on his previous deal. His relationship with Abramovich appears to have survived the summer and they are understood to have discussed the possibility of Terry one day becoming manager at Stamford Bridge.
He completed the negotiations without his long-serving agent Aaron Lincoln. Lincoln, who has built up one of the best agencies in the business, has known Terry since he was a youth team player at Chelsea. He was not involved in the negotiations for the latest contract but will handle the player's commercial deals.
An announcement is expected from Chelsea but it is thought that Terry will talk about his new deal during the England press conference on Friday prior to the friendly against Slovenia.
The money league: How Terry compares
*Highest Premier League earners
Robinho (Man City)......... £150,000
J Terry (Chelsea)......... £150,000
E Adebayor (Man City)......... £140,000
F Lampard (Chelsea)......... £140,000
C Tevez (Man City)......... £140,000
R Ferdinand (Man U)......... £130,000
S Gerrard (Liverpool)......... £130,000
F Torres (Liverpool)......... £125,000
M Ballack (Chelsea)......... £121,000