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John Terry fighting for new contract as Chelsea line up another potential replacement

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John Terry's contract is expiring this summer*.  Unless you've been living on the dark side of the Moon for some time, this shouldn't be a surprising scenario.

In fact, it's anything but a new situation.  It's a repeat of a repeat.  As per club policy for players over 30, Terry's been signing one-year contract extensions since the 2012-13 season.  That first one was the signature most in doubt, with the Chelsea captain enduring an injury- and poor performance-riddled season under mostly interim management.  Rejuvenated under Mourinho, the extensions signed in 2014 and earlier this year were never in doubt.  However, the same can't be said for this season, at least not so far.

Of course, it's far too early to make a definitive verdict on Terry's future.  None of the three previous one-year contracts were signed before springtime and we've got a long ways to go yet before we get there.  And even if Terry remains the third choice center back the rest of the season, would that alone prevent the club from offering him another extension?  Yes, he's a club legend, but he's also an invaluable dressing room presence and a leader both on and off the pitch.  That alone is probably worth another year at least.

Not to mention, no one expects Terry to simply give up without a fight, least of all the man himself.  While the Mail's report on the Chelsea captain redoubling his efforts to win back his spot and win himself a new contract doesn't contain any direct quotes, it's a pretty obvious deduction to make from the previous few years' worth of interviews with JT about his future.  He's been expecting this day and he's been preparing for this fight.

While all that's well and good, eventually Terry will need replacing.  John Stones remains the obvious candidate for that opening, but while Chelsea may yet wade back into that quagmire, we will no doubt look at other targets as well.  One such target, according to L'Equipe may be Nicolas Nkoulou.  We apparently had last minute feelers out for the Marseille man at the end of the summer as well.

Nkoulou's contract is also up this summer.  He's apparently unlikely to sign an extension, especially after he tried to leave OM just a few months ago but the club blocked his attempts to do so.  He will be free to arrange a summer move with anyone come January, so OM might be willing to negotiate a cut-rate deal for the 25-year-old Cameroonian international.  The price floated is £7.2m, which isn't much at all.

* So is Branislav Ivanović's, in case anyone cares.

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