John Terry has reiterated his ambition to become a manager after Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri expressed his willingness for the former captain to join his coaching staff.
No discussions have been held over the possibility of Terry returning “home” and it is Sarri’s understanding, from speaking to the 37-year-old earlier this month, that the defender is keen to continue playing for another season.
Terry is unlikely to be returning to Stamford Bridge, for now, but he is working with the academy players at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground as he seeks his coaching qualifications, with a long-term target in mind.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official app, The 5th Stand, Terry said: “Still undecided what I’m doing next. My end game is to be a manager and that’s what I’m working towards with the younger boys here.”
Terry left Stamford Bridge after 22 years’ service in June 2017. He made 717 appearances, 580 as captain and lifted 16 major trophies.
He joined Aston Villa on a one-year deal, leaving after they missed out on promotion to the Premier League.
The former England captain rejected a move to Spartak Moscow this week, but he is a free agent and able to join any club outside of the transfer window.
Terry enjoyed his first summer break since childhood, but trained on a daily basis.
Terry, 38 in December, said: “Good seven weeks with the family, which is the first time in 22 years. Some real quality time.
“Just really important to switch off after my career and reflect on things.
“I was training every day. I wanted to stay fit in case something came along. I’m still waiting.
“Undecided, but enjoying my time to really concentrate on my badges. It’s what I really want to do.”
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Cardiff, when Chelsea will be seeking a fifth win from five Premier League games, Sarri said he was open to the prospect of Terry returning to the club.
The 59-year-old Italian said: “I am very open with him, because he’s the history of the club. He has won everything with the club, so it’s up to him.
“If he wants to play for another season I think it’s right he tries to play.
“If he wants to help us, I’m very, very happy.”
There is no consideration for Terry returning to Stamford Bridge as a player, with Sarri prioritising young talent like Wales international Ethan Ampadu.
“I said before I want to give space to the young players,” Sarri added.
Chelsea’s perfect start to the season has led to suggestions they can challenge for the title after placing fifth last term, well adrift of champions Manchester City.
Asked which teams are in title contention, Sarri said: “At the moment I can answer City or Liverpool, at the moment.
“We need another step, I think, to be the same level.”
Sarri has decided on his permanent captain, but will tell his players his decision first, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and David Luiz all potential skippers.
Cesc Fabregas is fit again following a knee injury, but Sarri suggested it may be more beneficial for the playmaker to train this weekend, rather than be a substitute.
Emerson Palmieri, Davide Zappacosta (both illness) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (shin) are doubts and could miss out.
“It’s a difficult game for everybody, against Cardiff,” Sarri added.
“Mentally the match after the break is always very difficult. We will play against a very physical team, so I think it we want to get points, we need a very good performance.”
- Press Association