Chelsea seek swift end to Terry talks

Club determined to settle their captain's future ahead of this week's US tour
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The Independent Online

Chelsea are still hopeful they can resolve John Terry's situation before the club depart on their tour of America on Thursday with the possibility of an improved contract, albeit one that will not match Manchester City's £280,000-a-week offer.

The Chelsea captain, who held talks with owner Roman Abramovich over the weekend, has been tempted by the offer from City and would like to explore it further with the permission of his club. Chelsea have told Terry that there is no possibility of them selling him to City and that they cannot offer the same terms – unprecedented in English football – but that they want him to be happy at the club.

Terry is due to come back to Chelsea today with the club hopeful that some kind of resolution can be found. He trained yesterday in a double session with the rest of the Chelsea squad. His £135,000-a-week wages are among the highest in the Premier League but not as much as the £150,000-a-week level at which Frank Lampard operates, whose own contract saga lasted much of last summer.

Terry is mindful that Lampard took his time before he signed his new deal last summer – after a very public attempt by Internazionale to sign him – and the Chelsea captain would like to be afforded the same amount of time. However, with the club adamant that he will not be leaving and a determination that Terry's situation will not overshadow their tour of America, hard decisions will have to be made in the next two days.

In the meantime, Frank Arnesen indicated yesterday that he now has more power than ever at the club having been promoted from chief scout and head of youth development to sporting director. Arnesen even suggested that he would be as powerful as he once was at Tottenham – his first job in English football – where he was in charge of player recruitment ahead of coaches Jacques Santini and, subsequently, Martin Jol.

The former Denmark international told Chelsea's in-house website that he would now be a "little bit more senior" and instead of signing players to the academy – none of whom have yet made an impact – he would be in charge of signing players for the senior team. He played down any conflict with chief executive Peter Kenyon although it would now appear Arnesen is encroaching on his sphere of influence.

Arnesen said: "I've done it [the sporting director role] myself for 10 years with PSV Eindhoven [where he was before Spurs] and on the continent it is more normal than not. In England we have not seen it, although I did do it at Spurs at one time, but actually there are not a lot of clubs who are doing this."

Arnesen said he had moved his office next to that of Carlo Ancelotti and that he would be helping the Italian get acquainted with English football. "If you see how big the clubs are nowadays, there are so many things that you have to arrange yourself," he said. "You need specialists around the place and I have done it for more than 10 years so it is not new for me."

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