Jose Mourinho has warned John Terry that he will grant his Chelsea captain no favours over his future at the club and that if the 32-year-old wants a new contract next season he will have to earn it.
Asked whether Terry’s future at the club was safe – his contract expires next summer – Mourinho said: “No, he's not safe and he knows he's not safe. The only thing he knows is safe is our friendship. But professionally, nobody's safe. I need to be honest and I think he appreciates that. We spoke about it and he understands perfectly. We used to say in Portugal: ‘friends are friends, but business is separate'.
“He has to prove it. I cannot make him become protected or favourite ahead of someone else, and he knows that because he knows my nature. One of the things I taught them is, in football, you have to prove yourself every day. I trust him completely. I know he's a very good player, but he has to prove himself like everybody else.”
Mourinho said that he believed Terry was never fully fit in the latter part of last season, which was the reason for his sporadic appearances under Rafa Benitez. He added that he did not expect Terry’s future to turn into an awkward saga like Frank Lampard’s contract renewal. “A player in the last season of a contract has to earn the next contract. That’s very, very normal.”
The club’s priority is to sign Wayne Rooney, and Mourinho dismissed the suggestion that Chelsea were interested in Gonzalo Higuain, a long-term target for Arsenal. He also said that the club would not be bidding for Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi. “No, we are fine for midfield players. Experience: Michael Essien, Lampard. Mid-age: John Obi Mikel, Ramires. Very young: Marco van Ginkel. We are there.”
Mourinho also said that he hoped there would be as much scrutiny on Manchester City as there was during his first spell at Chelsea. “All the top five or six are rivals. They’re all good teams but City just bought four important players who can improve their fantastic squad. In my first time you were always putting pressure on me saying: ‘You buy this, you spend that, you buy the title’. So I hope now it is on the other side.”
Asked whether he would like to have a statue of himself one day outside Stamford Bridge, Mourinho said that he would settle for staying at Chelsea for the long term. He added that he is to have a street named after him in hometown of Setubal. He added: “I don’t know where it [the street] is!”