John Terry dropped the Mother Of All Transfer Bombs on us earlier this week by announcing that he’s ending his Chelsea playing career after two decades. The news was expected, but it still hit hard and I’m guessing we won’t be able to truly process its meaning for some time. Still, life goes on and for Terry, that means a new team and perhaps a new league as he seems intent on playing for a bit longer.
Previously, JT had promised that he would never sign for another Premier League team, but so far, all the rumors that have emerged since the announcement have him linked with just those sorts of teams.
First and foremost there is Tony Pulis and West Bromwich Albion, who already confirmed that they wanted Terry in January but the Chelsea captain refused to entertain a move back then. JT and Pulisball could be a very nice match indeed and they are understandably the bookies’ favorite.
Bournemouth are another January leftover, with rumors then claiming that they enquired about a possible loan to help mitigate the loss of Nathan Aké who was recalled by the Blues.
A little closer to Chelsea and even closer to Terry’s childhood home are West Ham United, where Slaven Bilić has taken his proverbial hat and thrown it into the proverbial ring for a potentially very real interest in a new center back. Though he was largely talking in general terms because he thinks that JT would be a transfer target for most clubs still thanks in part to his “leadership and character”.
"I don't think this is the end of John Terry's career.”
“Every manager and club would think about him because there aren't many leaders like him. But, then again, we have experience in that position. We have good players in that position so never say never but I don't think about that right now.”
-Slaven Bilić; source: Evening Standard
Bilić also thought there could also interest from Major League Soccer in the USA to contend with (despite recent rumors to the contrary).
Other options could include China of course, though it’s questionable whether Terry would want to uproot his family for such a move, as well as the UAE where old friend/foe Dan Petrescu’s managing and has recently talked about a potential move for Terry in a very similar generic manner like Bilić just did. Meanwhile, the Star have linked Terry with a move to Swansea City, who are currently managed by former Chelsea assistant Paul Clement. Swans are in the midst of a relegation battle, but if they do go down, Terry could sign with them and still actually keep his promise to Chelsea fans.
According to most reports, such as the one in the Telegraph, Terry will not make any further decisions until the summer. For now, all the focus is on taking care of business on the pitch and on the training ground.