Terry ready for fringe role as Stones move nears

Everton defender John Stones (right), here defending against Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado, is highly coveted by Blues boss Jose Mourinho. The Blues will reportedly make a renewed bid to sign the England international today.
Everton defender John Stones (right), here defending against Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado, is highly coveted by Blues boss Jose Mourinho. The Blues will reportedly make a renewed bid to sign the England international today. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • John Terry has expressed his desire to stay at Chelsea for several more seasons and vowed that he will never play for another Premier League club.

The Chelsea captain insisted on Sunday that he would have no problem dropping to the substitutes' bench.

But he said that he would follow the example of Steven Gerrard by seeking a move abroad if he was no longer required.

Terry has signed one-year contracts at Chelsea at the end of the past two seasons, but despite turning 35 in December, he is continuing to look farther ahead.

The veteran centre-back believes that he can carry on playing at the highest level for several more years, a view that appears to be shared by Jose Mourinho, his manager. However, a decision about his future will not be taken until next summer.

Terry accepts that he will not be guaranteed a starting place forever, particularly if Chelsea add John Stones to a roster of centre-backs that includes Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma this summer.

The former England captain said he would accept being given more limited playing time with good grace, insisting that he would follow the example of Petr Cech. The goalkeeper still played a vital role for Chelsea last season even as Thibaut Courtois was preferred for most games.

"I am always looking ahead so hopefully I've got another couple of years," Terry said. "Every summer, I work more or less every day to give myself the best chance, and if it comes to that point where I am left out of the side, I know it's not through not trying.

"I could handle being on the bench for sure. I have seen other players go the other way but I certainly would continue giving everything to the squad.

"If I then felt Chelsea were going to release me or I thought I had nothing else to give, I would still want to continue to play."

Yesterday, it appeared that Terry will soon have competition for his position in the new season as The Guardian reported that Chelsea will make a new £26 million (S$55 million) bid for Stones.

Mourinho remains desperate to sign the Everton defender and has not been put off by Roberto Martinez's anger over the battle for his signature.

The Premier League champions had a bid of £20 million turned down last week with Martinez furious with Mourinho for openly talking about the move.

Yet, the Portuguese has seen his defenders struggle so far during the club's North America tour and will push on with his pursuit of the England international.

Stones, 21, is understood to be keen on a transfer to the Premier League champions and knows the option of playing Champions League football next season will ultimately be too good an offer to refuse. THE TIMES, LONDON,

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2015, with the headline 'Terry ready for fringe role as Stones move nears'. Print Edition | Subscribe