Terry defies Chelsea

LONDON. — John Terry defied Chelsea when announcing he will leave the club at the end of the season, according to reports. Terry (35) will not be offered a new contract at Stamford Bridge. The centre-back reportedly has offers from the Middle East and China waiting for him. Chelsea tried to hush up their decision to drop Terry and were “stunned” when the player revealed the news himself.

It is claimed Terry had demanded his future be resolved by the end of January. He had considered releasing a statement last weekend but was talked out of it by club officials — only for the player to then speak to the media following Chelsea’s FA Cup fourth-round win over MK Dons.

Terry broke the news just a day before the transfer deadline, with team-mate Gary Cahill already seeking an exit that never went through. Chelsea are said to have wanted Terry to wait until a new manager was appointed next summer before concluding his future. The Blues will seek a long-term replacement for Jose Mourinho as Guus Hiddink oversees the team during the interim.

Pep Guardiola was struck off Chelsea’s list of potential recruits when he signed off on a three-year contract at Manchester City, which will start in July. Diego Simeone, Antonio Conte and City’s departing manager Manuel Pellegrini are all candidates to come in.

Pellegrini could be heading for a shock switch to Chelsea – after Manchester City headed off Roman Abramovic’s attempt to hijack their move for Guardiola. Chelsea and Manchester United both sounded out Guardiola, but City on Monday confirmed football’s worst-kept secret by announcing that the 44-year-old Spaniard will take over as their boss this summer. — The Daily Express.

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