Terry seeks Chelsea reassurances
Captain promised talks on his future as he questions how important he is to club
Friday 10 July 2009
John Terry yesterday told Roman Abramovich's closest aid, Eugene Tenenbaum, that he wants to know how much Chelsea value him and was promised further discussions on his future.
The Chelsea captain is still waiting to learn the reaction of the club's true powerbrokers to the £150,000-£200,000-a-week salary offered to him by Manchester City.
The club's players did not finish their double training session until 6.30pm yesterday which was the first opportunity for Terry to speak to Tenenbaum, who was at the Cobham training ground yesterday.
Terry was also told yesterday by new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti that the club were still in the market for Franck Ribéry and will be competitive at the highest level in the Premier League and Europe.
Terry has not asked for a transfer or told the club that his current £135,000-a-week deal must be raised to match the wage offer from City – who have already had a £30m bid rejected. However, he is eager to talk to them about his own situation and that of the club, who have conspicuously failed to sign any of the big players available this summer.
While Ancelotti reassured Terry of the club's ambition, the 28-year-old has been at the club long enough to know that it is only Abramovich or Tenenbaum who can really say what direction Chelsea are going in – or sanction a big contract. With Frank Lampard on £150,000-a-week and new deals imminent for Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Didier Drogba and John Obi Mikel, the club were not planning on paying out more on Terry's contract.
Ancelotti spoke only briefly yesterday at the presentation of new free signing Daniel Sturridge from Manchester City to say that he did not envisage any immediate decision on Terry. "I will see John Terry but there is no problem," the Chelsea manager said. The conversation that Terry really craves is not with Ancelotti but with Abramovich.
Coming in the other direction to Chelsea, Sturridge said that he had no regrets about leaving the club at which he had been since the age of 13 even though City have arguably now established themselves as more serious players than Chelsea in the transfer market. The 19-year-old also denied that he had simply followed the money and chosen a club that was prepared to pay him more than City.
Sturridge said: "I believe Chelsea and Manchester City are very good clubs but for me it was all to do with football not money. I am not motivated by money I am only motivated by winning trophies and becoming a great player.
"I don't believe you can say I am driven by money, I just know I am an ambitious person and I want to do big things in my career. I want to win trophies and I believe I can do that at Chelsea. My main motivation was to play in the Champions League.
"I am very ambitious and want to push myself to the highest level and play with the best in the world. I believe I can achieve big things at Chelsea. I am very young and I will be very patient because there are world-class players here. I am not going to get too upset if I am not playing because I know it is a long season and a lot of games.
"Manchester City are a good club, they are playing in the Uefa Cup, they are buying good players. It is a matter of me being ambitious and wanting to play at a good club and the players around me can drive me on. I have friends like Scott Sinclair who plays here. I just want to do big things in the game and I believe I can achieve them."
Although his friend Sinclair, 20, has made just eight senior appearances for Chelsea, and the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips – the last player Chelsea signed from City – and Andrei Shevchenko have failed to make the grade, Sturridge was sure he would be different. The fee owing to City for compensation – the striker was a free signing – has not yet been set although City want £10m. On Terry's future, Sturridge said: "That's a matter for John and Chelsea to deal with."
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