Chelsea captain and former England defender John Terry has announced he will leave the reigning Premier League champions at the end of this season.
Terry was speaking to reporters after Chelsea’s 5-1 FA Cup fourth-round win at MK Dons on Sunday and confirmed his career-long association with the club will end when his current contract expires in June.
“To be honest, I was in [for contract talks] last week before the Arsenal game and it’s not going to be extended,” he said.
“It’s my last run in the FA Cup so I want to make it a good one. It’s a big season for me and I want to push on – not just in this competition but in the Premier League as well.”
The 35-year-old made his debut for the Stamford Bridge outfit against Aston Villa in the League Cup in 1998, the first of 664 appearances during which time he became a figurehead for a trophy-laden period at the club.
Terry boasts four Premier League titles and five FA Cup winners’ medals, sitting alongside three League Cup triumphs and a successful campaign apiece in the Champions League and Europa League.
He said Chelsea left the door open to his extending this celebrated tenure when the long-term managerial replacement to Jose Mourinho is confirmed at the end of this term.
Guus Hiddink is currently in charge of the first-team affairs but Terry was keen to seal a January contract extension – something the he conceded the club’s hierarchy could not offer him before last weekend’s 1-0 win at Emirates Stadium.
“I knew before the Arsenal game so mentally I’ve kind of accepted it. We just have to move on,” he said.
“They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change. It’s a no at the minute. I needed to know now like I have done every January and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done.
“Unfortunately it was a no. It’s not going to be a fairytale ending, I’m not going to retire at Chelsea.”