John Terry moves closer to MLS move as Chelsea career set to finish

John Terry will not get his fairytale ending by retiring with Chelsea FC, it has today been revealed by the player, with a summer move to Major League Soccer now highly likely.

Terry has arguably been Chelsea’s most iconic player of all time. He has certainly been the club’s best leader, captaining the side to 16 major honours, but his 18-year career with the Blues will come to an end in June.

The 35-year-old centre-back revealed his contract will not be extended after leading the team to a 5-1 FA Cup win at MK Dons on Sunday afternoon.

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“It’s not going to be a fairytale, I’m not going to retire at Chelsea,” Terry said.

“The club will move on. No player is ever bigger than the club. Ideally I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction.”

At 35, Terry is in a position where retirement would make sense, but the four-time Premier League winner thinks he still has a couple more years left in him and wants to play for another club before ending his playing career.

He has ruled out a move to another Premier League team and that paves the way for an MLS move this summer, especially when you consider he has previously spoken of a desire to play in the USA.

When asked if he could play for another English club back in December, Terry responded by claiming America would be an attractive option so long as it would suit his family.

“No chance. America, maybe. But physically I feel like I can still play. Do I want to play? Of course I do. But then decisions come into it with your family. What if you go somewhere and it doesn’t work out? Everything else comes into play, doesn’t it?”

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There would be no shortage of interested parties if Terry does secure a move to MLS, though he would likely demand to be a Designated Player and that would rule a few sides out of the running.

It will be interesting to see if he signs a pre-contract agreement in the coming weeks, just as former England teammates Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard did over the past couple of years, but for now the Blues captain will remain fully focused on his final months in a Chelsea shirt.

“My performance isn’t going to change – the way I train, what I give for the club. I want to give everything and finish on a high, on 100 per cent good terms with the club.”

Has John Terry been Chelsea’s most iconic player in the club’s history? Would a move to MLS be good for him, as well as the league?

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What does being substituted mean for John Terry?

Much has been made of the Premier League champions below-par start to the season and their 3-0 drubbing by Manchester City at the weekend has only intensified problems.

The substitution of Chelsea captain John Terry at half-time in the game at the Etihad has been talked about by pundits and fans alike. But has too much been made of the situation? Lewis Addley explores…

Sky Sports pundit, Niall Quinn, went as far to say that the substitution could mark the beginning of the end for Terry and that the former England captain faces a tough task to regain his place in the side.

“I think it could be the start of the end for John Terry,” Quinn told Sky Sports.

“I think he’s got a hell of a battle on now to get back in the team. To be taken off at half-time in a big game, he would be gutted.”

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It was the first time the Blues captain has been subbed by Mourinho in the Premier League, the only other occasion he didn’t complete the full 90 minutes was due to a sending off.

Premier League starts under Mourinho 177
Played full 90 minutes 175
Times substituted 1

Graeme Souness was quick to deflect Quinn’s comments regarding Terry, claiming it is a ploy from Mourinho to show club owner, Roman Abramovich, that he needs to sign more players.

“I don’t think it was anything to do with Terry’s performance,” Souness said to Sky Sports.

The club have been heavily linked with a move for Everton’s John Stones, who is seen by many as a long-term replacement for Terry, and Souness believes Mourinho was signalling that interest to Abramovich.

“John Terry is still the best centre-back out there. I think he’s trying to force the owner’s hand to go and buy John Stones.

“I think it’s a manager making a statement to the owner, saying ‘I need more players’.”

Statiscally, Chelsea are far better off when their captain plays, winning 11.7% more of their games.

With   Without
309 Games played 71
203 Wins 39
234 Goals against 69
0.8 Average goals against 1
65.7% Win % 54%

The Blues have also conceded 0.2 goals less per game on average when Terry is in the side.

Speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Gary Neville believes that the manager’s decision was viable and that at 34 these changes will happen for Terry.

“There will be certain games where, as a 34-year-old centre-back, other players will need to start to be phased in.

“My genuine belief is that it’s not the end of the world for John Terry. It was a big shock to him yesterday, and it’s almost like a public embarrassment – we’ve been there.

“But I don’t buy into the fact that his career’s over.”

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Former Liverpool captain, Jamie Carragher, echoed Neville’s opinion and believes Terry will be an integral part of the champions’ defence of their title.

“I think Chelsea will get back into the title race, and John Terry will be in there. I think it’ll be the end for him in terms of playing every minute of every game.

“This isn’t just a question of John Terry’s pace and that he can’t run – he’s never been able to run. He’s still been one of the best centre-backs we’ve had in the league.”

The Chelsea boss claimed his decision to sub his skipper was tactical and nothing more and although Terry will begin to be used a little more sparingly the comments from experts in the game speak volumes.

Chelsea’s next fixture is a tough away game against West Bromwich Albion, where they were crushed 3-0 at the back-end of last season. The spotlight will no doubt be on whether or not the Blues skipper will be selected.

Stats: Is John Stones the answer to Chelsea’s early defensive crisis?

Chelsea have started the new Premier League season in abysmal form by their very lofty standards. The reigning champions fell 3-0 at Manchester City on Sunday, following their 2-2 home draw with Swansea and have just one point from a possible six – their worst start to a season since 1998.

It may not be time to press the panic button, but fingers will be leering towards it as last season’s best defence have already conceded five times in two games, with only Sunderland conceding more.

Young Everton centre-back John Stones has been identified as a man to fix their early defensive woes and Chelsea have stepped up their pursuit with a third bid for the player, believed to be in the region of £30 million.

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The Toffees are desperate to keep hold of the 21-year-old, who already has four England caps, with the Express reporting that Chelsea may have to pay nearer to £40 million to land their man in a deal that would make him the most expensive defender in Premier League history.

But is he worth the risk? At 21, Stones still has a lot to learn. He is improving with every game he plays at Everton and is a guaranteed starter in the heart of Roberto Martinez’s defence alongside fellow England international Phil Jagielka.

Table: John Stones' Premier League statistics over past two seasons compared to John Terry and Gary Cahill

Table: John Stones’ Premier League statistics over past two seasons compared to John Terry and Gary Cahill (via Squawka)

A move to Chelsea would see him partner either Gary Cahill or John Terry, though a regular starting role is far from guaranteed if he does move to Stamford Bridge. Terry was substituted at halftime in Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to City but is expected to remain a first-team regular, so perhaps it is Cahill who is under more pressure.

As the statistics via Squawka in the table above show, John Stones has outperformed Terry and Cahill in terms of successful passes, tackles won, blocks and interceptions per game in the Premier League since the start of last season.

Terry has scored more goals than Stones or Cahill after grabbing five last term but he is outperformed statistically by both defenders in every other key area.

We’re only through two games this season but Stones has already won more tackles (5) than Terry and Cahill combined (2) and looks to be a defender with a really bright future.

The only question remains: What blue will John Stones be wearing after the transfer window closes – Everton’s or Chelsea’s?

Is this Chelsea legend set to follow Lampard, Gerrard and Drogba to MLS?

Chelsea captain John Terry has revealed that he may be tempted to follow in the footsteps of former teammate and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard by making the move to MLS before his career is over.

Lampard will link-up with New York City in July, while Liverpool‘s Steven Gerrard is also set to join LA Galaxy. Didier Drogba has also admitted this week that he is interested in the possibility of playing in the USA.

Terry lifted Chelsea’s fourth Premier League title at the weekend at the conclusion of a season where he didn’t miss a single second of the Blues’ league campaign and hasn’t ruled out a move to MLS.

“I would love to finish my career at Chelsea and maybe there is a time when I look to go to play in America or whatever might be best for my family at the time,” Terry told Talksport.

“Hopefully I have a couple of years left at least. I always thought I could get to age of 35 and still be playing and I am getting close to that now.”

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The 34-year-old would certainly be in high demand if he were to leave Chelsea, but he believes he can still achieve more before his time to move on or retire comes.

“Looking at this squad now, I think this squad has the potential to do a lot more than we did in the past, well beyond my playing days. It is not just the players that have done so well for us this season. There are so many young lads who could make the breakthrough to the team, too many to mention.

“It is harder than ever for them to breakthrough as you don’t get five games to find your feet any more, but the rewards are greater than ever as well.”

Would a move to MLS be good for John Terry when his time at Chelsea comes to an end?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Sunderland 

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 1/3 – Draw 4/1 – Sunderland 8/1

Match Preview

Chelsea end a superb title winning campaign at home to Sunderland on Sunday, where they will be presented with the Premier League trophy at the end of the game, regardless of the result.

Undisputedly the best team in England in this season, Chelsea have the joint best defence in the league, and boast an incredible 78% win percentage at Stamford Bridge.

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Their loss on Monday night to West Brom ended a 16-game unbeaten run and leaves them eight points clear of Manchester City as the undisputed champions of England. It’s the first title in five years for the Blues and the home fans will be looking forward to Sunday afternoon’s clash.

Chelsea’s home record: P18 – W14 – D4 – L0

Sunderland come into this clash unbeaten in five as Dick Advocaat has successfully guided the Black Cats to safety. He has apparently been offered a new deal as a reward for his efforts, but is still not sure whether this will be his last job. This could therefore be the Dutchman’s last game as a manager.

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With only three wins away from home this season, Sunderland have been far from impressive on the road, and face a tough task against the best side in English football this weekend.

Sunderland’s away record: P18 – W3 – D9 – L6

Sunderland managed to hold out for a goalless draw in the reverse fixture and a repeat result cannot be ruled out as both sides would probably settle for that on Sunday, as avoiding defeat will be the primary objective.

Team News

Chelsea are without Oscar, Ramires and Kurt Zouma as they miss out through injury. Petr Cech and Eden Hazard are doubts and probably will not be risked. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nemanja Matic are expected to partner up in midfield. Loic Remy could fill in for Hazard on the left flank and Diego Costa should finish the season as the lone striker.

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Sunderland are plagued with injuries as Ricky Alvarez, Wes Brown, Jordi Gomez, Liam Bridcutt and Costel Pantilimon are all out and Danny Graham is a doubt. Vito Mannone is expected to start in goal.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/W/D/L

Sunderland’s last five: D/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Sunderland are the only side to defeat Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Key Player: John Terry – The Chelsea captain has been the best centre-back in the league this season and lifting the trophy at the end of the game will be a fitting moment for the former England captain.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland – Chelsea won’t want to lose their unbeaten record at home this season and an end of season draw looks like it could be on the cards. Sunderland have avoided relegation and will now want to finish with a positive result.

Chelsea and City set to battle for ‘next John Terry’ – report

Chelsea and Manchester City are considering an offer for Everton‘s John Stones as a long-term investment, according to the Daily Mail.

Stones has been under the watch of Chelsea scouts for the past 18 months and is reportedly seen as a long-term replacement for captain John Terry.

The 20-year-old central defender has impressed over the last two seasons and is tipped to be one of the best in the country as he continues to develop.

Chelsea’s search for John Terry’s replacement may seem premature given that he has played every minute of their Premier League season, but they will need to move quickly for Stones if City are interested.

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This summer could be a good time for Chelsea to sign Stones as his development would be helped by Terry. The former England captain has a formidable partnership with Gary Cahill, who has gone from strength-to-strength since signing for the club in 2012.

Manchester City are targeting younger British stars to meet homegrown quota regulations, and Stones is an ideal candidate. The Englishman has four caps and has become one of the first names on the team-sheet for Roberto Martinez.

City’s defence has been questioned this season as they failed to put up much of a challenge for the Premier League title and Manuel Pellegrini is expected to strengthen his options this summer.

Everton are not looking to offload Stones but with the financial power of Chelsea and City they could well be forced into accepting bids upwards of £20 million for their starlet.

Stones has been likened to Terry for his no nonsense and calm approach. He netted his first Everton goal in their 3-0 win over Manchester United last month with a powerful header.

Will Stones move on this summer? Could he be the next John Terry?

John Terry better this season than last according to Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed John Terry is an even better player this season than last campaign.

Terry, 34, is still waiting for his new one-year contract extension, as per Chelsea’s policy with players over 30 being offered one year at a time.

Both Chelsea and the former England captain’s performances have been helped by the addition of Nemanja Matic in defensive midfield as the Blues have only conceded 22 goals in the league this season.

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Terry is helped by being a player who hasn’t had to rely on pace throughout his career. Despite many players losing that yard of pace as they enter their twilight years, Terry hasn’t showed too many signs of weakness as he has aged.

The Chelsea captain has featured in all 26 of his sides Premier League games this season and has contributed to 10 clean-sheets already.

Terry has three league goals this term and scored the opener in Sunday’s League Cup final at Wembley in the 2-0 win over Tottenham.

His Chelsea career was certainly revitalised as Jose Mourinho returned, having found himself out of favour in the 2012/13 season, making just 28 appearances.

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“John is proving again this season that he is a player for years,” Mourinho said ahead of Wednesday night’s game with West Ham.

“Last season he was good, this season he’s even better so he has time to enjoy his football with us and at the same time we can think of what’s coming next.

“When I came back he was coming from a difficult period, but last season he was very good, this season I think even better.”

Terry made 47 appearances last season and has made 36 so far this year, so providing he stays fit he should eclipse that total by the end of the campaign. He has started as many games as Gary Cahill and isn’t showing any signs of his age.

A statistical look at how Chelsea's centre-backs compare in the Premier League this season (Stats via Squawka)

A statistical look at how Chelsea’s centre-backs compare in the Premier League this season (Stats via Squawka)

Terry is an integral part of the Chelsea defence and has barely missed a game this season so Mourinho is more than happy for his captain to be assessed year on year as the 34-year-old defender is fully committed to the club.

Do you think John Terry is still Chelsea’s best centre-back?