LONDON • If John Terry really has booked Stamford Bridge for a private party as reports suggested on Friday, then everything might have a rather sour taste.
Following his red card at Sunderland on Saturday, his second dismissal in the Premier League this season, he will be banned for Wednesday's trip to Liverpool and Sunday's visit of Leicester.
Those games close out Chelsea's season, and quite possibly Terry's career at the club after the 35-year-old revealed in January he would be leaving Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have insisted an offer of a new contract may be forthcoming, with the incoming manager, Antonio Conte, having a major say in the final decision.
But there has been no sign of one so far. Interim manager Guus Hiddink remains uncertain over the former England defender's future.
Asked if Terry's appearance at Sunderland in the 3-2 defeat would be his last, Hiddink said: "For the club, I don't know, but it's sad of course, that he was sent off for a second yellow.
"I think the referee (Mike Jones) was too close to the incident and an impulsive reaction made him draw the yellow card. He has to consider a bit the intensity of the game and this (intense) duel as well. He was too close, for me, and took too harsh a decision."
Terry has missed some memorable moments with Chelsea through suspension. He was banned for the 2012 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich but joined the celebrations in his full kit, a protocol dictated by Uefa.
He has been linked with a move to China, the Middle East and Major League Soccer.
Asked if it would be a sad way for Terry to end his Chelsea career, Hiddink said: "Of course. It would have been lovely to have had him in our last game at home, the Leicester game, the champions, and have a very nice party game, and it's sad that he is not participating in that."
With second-last Norwich City losing on Saturday and Newcastle held to a goalless draw at already-relegated Aston Villa, Sunderland climbed out of the bottom three thanks to only their fifth home win of the season.
Victory over Everton in their penultimate game on Wednesday will seal a 10th consecutive top-flight campaign and a fourth straight "great escape" from a Sunderland team who have turned brinkmanship into an art in recent seasons.
It would also have the effect of relegating both Newcastle, their arch north-east rivals, who yesterday received a blow when midfielder Jack Colback was revealed to be investigated for allegedly breaking betting rules, and Norwich.
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE