Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has refused to rule out the prospect of captain John Terry remaining with the club.
Terry stunningly announced that he would end his career-long association with the Stamford Bridge club at the end of this season in the aftermath of Sunday’s 5-1 win over MK Dons.
The former England skipper said Chelsea’s refusal to offer him a contract extension forced his hand to look elsewhere, although a statement from the reigning Premier League champions subsequently said they were open to retaining a dialogue.
Speaking ahead of his team’s Premier League trip to Watford, Hiddink conceded Terry’s decision caught him by surprise.
The short-term nature of the veteran Dutchman’s appointment as successor to Jose Mourinho provides an extra layer of uncertainty to the Terry situation but Hiddink is hopeful a resolution can be found.
“I also had some conversations with [Terry] in the past days about all kinds of things in football,” he said.
“A lot was said by John and he is entitled, after the contract is ending at the end of the season, to make up his mind.
“On the other hand there is also the club’s side. I think they still want to have the dialogue to have an open door.
“It was a bit surprising but he is entitled to make the decision, which is entirely up to him.
“There is no specific decision made yet, you have to see the progress that is made in the transition of the management as well.
“We have to see it from his side and the club’s side. The door is not shut. Dialogue is always possible.”
Hiddink certainly has no doubts over Terry’s capacity to perform at the highest level, having selected the 35-year-old from the start in every Premier League match since his return to the London club.
“John’s statistics and the view I have on him – he’s very fit – and he is not what you normally see in a 35 or 36-year-old player,” he added.
“You usually feel that you are getting a little bit slower and you cannot accept it, but none of that for John.
“He is fit and performing as he is. He will [continue] to do this regardless of the situation he is in and be professional.”
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