City ready to raise bid for Terry

Chelsea captain has not dismissed the temptation to join the City rich list
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester City's pursuit of John Terry is not over and they are now considering increasing the pressure on Chelsea with a second bid for the England captain in excess of the £30m deal that was rejected on Thursday night. Chelsea are opposed to losing their captain but it is understood that Terry could yet opt to leave.

The Chelsea captain, who has been at the club since the age of 12, has not completely ruled out the possibility of leaving Stamford Bridge – especially with City promising to take Premier League pay to another level with deals worth well in excess of £150,000-a-week. Terry is currently with friends on a golf holiday in Tenerife but he is being kept up to date with developments.

Terry signed a deal worth around £135,000 a week at Chelsea two years ago that will keep him at the club until 2012 and he is established as one of the most influential voices at the club at any level. However, if City are prepared to pay the kind of wages to eclipse Terry's current salary – not to mention offer him a better chance of challenging Manchester United for the Premier League – then there is the potential for the player to be persuaded.

There is no doubt that City's executive chairman, Garry Cook, would not have made the offer to Chelsea had he not been receiving some encouragement that Terry would be amenable to a move. As a former Chelsea player, the City manager Mark Hughes has close contacts with his ex-club, including those individuals close to the players.

Despite their statement on Thursday night, the Chelsea hierarchy are aware that they may eventually have to match whatever pay City offer Terry. That would be an interesting test of Roman Abramovich's loyalty to his captain. The Russian billionaire has cultivated a close friendship with Terry. How Abramovich would react to being asked by Terry to match City's terms is not clear.

Any potential departure of Terry would be painful. Both sides would be determined not to look like it was they who initiated the deal. Terry would, in all likelihood, have to ask publicly to leave which might just prove a step too far for a player who, despite his hardman persona on the pitch, is still acutely aware of his public perception.

An interview with Terry published yesterday in which he urged the club to move "in the right direction" under new manager Carlo Ancelotti is understood to have been conducted since City's most recent bid to sign the player. Ancelotti will be presented as Chelsea's manager on Monday morning by which time the club hope to have signed Yuri Zhirkov, the Russian winger from CSKA Moscow, for £18m to add to Daniel Sturridge on a free from City.

Dynamo Kiev have offered Andrei Shevchenko a route out of Chelsea where he will be required to return for pre-season training next week – he still has one year left to run on his Chelsea deal. In the meantime, City are still hopeful that they can complete a £25.5m deal for Carlos Tevez in the next week.