On Saturday it sounded like a done deal: 37-year-old Chelsea legend John Terry was going to earn a cool €1.9m for nine months work at Spartak Moscow. He flew to Rome, took a medical, Spartak tweeted that their doors were open for an important visitor and since then... nothing.
Complete radio silence. Sunday passed without an announcement. When Monday remained equally mum, questions were asked.
And the answer, apparently, is that Terry got cold feet about playing in Russia. Russian outlet Sport-Express reported on Tuesday that Terry wants more money. English newspapers say he has reservations about moving his family to Russia, but that is neither mentioned in the initial Russian report, nor does it seem logical — it’s unlikely that he’d shift his entire family for a short-term contract in the first place.
What does make sense is that in order to separate himself from his loved ones for months, Terry, who’s played his entire career in England, and his family have reconsidered and want more moolah.
Sport-Express reports that he flew home after the medical on Saturday, and shortly thereafter asked for a raise — they claim he wants over a million euros more; certainly not a small request. Representatives from Spartak flew to England and failed to hammer out a compromise on Monday. They were said to be working on the deal again on Tuesday. And Terry was seen outside the Russian embassy in London on Tuesday, apparently applying for a visa in case terms are agreed to.
This is John Terry at the Russian Embassy, where he today got his visa in case a deal is agreed, according to Sport-Express. Spartak Moscow would have to conclude the move before the end of the week. pic.twitter.com/QfXFSXJLZQ— Ashley Gray (@AshleyWGray) September 11, 2018
In the meantime, the less-reputable members of the British reporting corp are claiming that any Russian bust would be a boon to Steve Bruce at Aston Villa. Villa have struggled to two wins, three draws and a loss to open their campaign. Terry loved his near-promotion spell there last season. I guess their logic is that Terry would be willing to play there again without demanding large wages — a proposition that doesn’t appear to have any factual basis.