John Terry to leave Chelsea: ‘No fairytale ending’ as Chelsea to let captain go

The 35-year-old says he does not want to join another English side

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The Independent Football

He is Chelsea’s captain, leader and legend, but for John Terry the Stamford Bridge fairytale is almost over. 

The end, presaged in the early-season fallout with Jose Mourinho that saw Terry, who turned 35 last December, cast to the bench, was revealed after Chelsea’s 5-1 win against MK Dons in the FA Cup but was confirmed to the player last week when it was decided his contract would not be renewed in the summer.

“It’s my last run in the FA Cup so I want to make it a good one,” said Terry after the game. “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 [that my contract was not to be renewed] so mentally I’ve kind of accepted it. We just have to move on. 

“The club said that when the new manager comes in [during the summer], things might change. I needed to know now like I have done every January, and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done. Unfortunately it was a no [from the club]. It’s not going to be a fairytale ending, I’m not going to retire at Chelsea, it’s going to be elsewhere.”

Despite his declining form, the development will come as a shock to the Chelsea supporters for whom Terry more than any other player was the symbolic spearhead of the club’s rise to power in the Roman Abramovich era. Just as Liverpool allowed Steven Gerrard to play out his career at another club, Chelsea are prepared to cut the cord rather than absorb him into a coaching role.

“It took me a couple of days to get over,” Terry admitted. “But like I say, I knew before the Arsenal game. My performance isn’t going to change, the way I train, what I give for the club. I want to give everything and finish on a high, on 100 per cent good terms with the club. 

“We spoke about my legacy and coming back to the club when I finish. The most important thing now is to get us up the league.

“I didn’t feel as though I was playing great in the first four or five games of the season, like everyone in the team, and the performances showed that. But since then myself and everyone else has picked up back to where we are. The club will move on. No player is ever bigger than the club. 

“Ideally I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction. No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre-backs. I want to come back as a Chelsea supporter in years to come with my kids and see the team doing great.” 

Terry ruled out a move to another Premier League club, paving the way perhaps for a lucrative lap of honour in China or the United States. “I couldn’t do that to the Chelsea fans,” he claimed “I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure. 

“I don’t know where and I leave that to the people in charge. It certainly won’t be in the Premier League.”

On the circumstances behind how the club arrived at their decision, Terry added: “My agent made the call like we do every January. He got told over the phone and I called to set up a meeting the following day. The club immediately set that up which was great of them to do that. I wanted to hear it face to face. They told me. 

“Unfortunately it’s not going to be. I feel as though I’m in great nick, I’m playing great and I’ve got a couple  of years to go. It’ll just be  elsewhere.”