John Terry future: Jose Mourinho to award Terry new Chelsea contract

Chelsea captain is out on contract at the end of the season but has been in excellent form for the Blues in their title charge

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho has confirmed for the first time that Chelsea’s captain John Terry will be given a new contract to see him through next season. The central defender, who turned 34 earlier this month, has been in outstanding form and will be rewarded with another 12-month deal when the current one expires at the end of May.

Speaking ahead of today’s visit to Southampton, Mourinho said: “There are no doubts that he is going to get another contract. He’s a very important player in the team so the next contract sooner or later will come. It’s a formality.

“I repeat the same as I said a couple of weeks ago, he’s a happy guy, he’s playing well, he likes his team-mates, likes the manager, he works well. It’s a very happy group and I think John feels very, very well.”

 

As well as performing exceptionally in defence, Terry scored the opening goal in both of last week’s games, against Stoke and West Ham. That gave him 61 in all competitions, the highest total by any defender in Chelsea’s history.

Having won two of his three Premier League titles under Mourinho, Terry is hoping they can celebrate a third together, although Chelsea’s rivals are proving harder to shake off this time. In 2004-05 they were five points clear at Christmas and after a run of seven successive wins led by 11 points at the start of February. A year later, the lead was 16 points by mid-January. Mourinho is refusing to discount any team currently in the top six, insisting: “We are speaking about three points [ahead of Manchester City] and after that Manchester United are also not far.”

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Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and John Terry

He declined to rule out anyone within 15 points, which just about includes Arsenal and Tottenham, but admitted: “I have lots of experiences of coming from behind or being top of the League. I prefer to be top and the players are exactly in the same line as me. It is better to be in front.” To stay there, Chelsea will probably need to win today and again at Tottenham on Thursday, as City enjoy two home games, against Burnley and Sunderland.

If there is one concern for the London club it is how they will cope with chasing four trophies. The two legs of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Liverpool are at the end of January, the second match coming just four days before City – who have a clear week – visit Stamford Bridge.

This afternoon Mourinho will meet up again with Southampton’s manager Ronald Koeman, with whom he shared assistant manager’s duties under Louis van Gaal at Barcelona from 1998-2000.

The Saints are back in fourth place, finding some form again after five defeats in a row, beating Everton and Crystal Palace while scoring six goals. A buoyant Koeman said: “We had a difficult time after some defeats. We won now two in a row, that’s important, game by game to do our best and what we like to do, play attractive football, offensive football. And go for it. But that means every game, not because our opponent is called Chelsea or Man City. If you don’t go for it, stay home.”

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