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Swansea, MLS or China: Where next for Chelsea’s John Terry?

John Terry will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, but where next for the veteran defender?

As Chelsea conclude their title-winning season and parade the Premier League trophy around Stamford Bridge on Sunday, their final fixture against Sunderland also marks the end of John Terry’s Chelsea career. The Blues’ captain has announced he’ll be leaving the club come the end of the season, without ruling out retiring altogether, but it strikes me as though he has an unsatisfied desire to prolong his career. Where will Chelsea’s captain, leader and legend go next? All odds are taken from SkyBet.

Bournemouth [9/4] 

Eddie Howe has previously expressed interest in Terry, having tried to sign the 36-year-old on loan in January, and could reignite this interest in the summer with the central defender out of contract and available on a free transfer. Having lost Nathan Ake to Chelsea, the Cherries have a gaping hole in the centre of their defence that needs plugging and Terry fits the bill. He knows the Premier League like the back of his hand and would add some necessary experience and composure to the third-worse defence in the league. He might not be title-winning quality anymore, but Terry’s more than capable of playing at Premier League level for another year.

Swansea [3/1]

With Swansea’s survival in the Premier League now confirmed, the onus is on Paul Clement to enforce the squad over summer and ensure they don’t find themselves in this situation again. A key way to ensure this is the case is to plug a leaky defence with an experienced player at the highest level, namely John Terry. He would make an ideal partner for the young Alfie Mawson and would be a key figure in his development.

Clement has already announced that he’s keen to have “a conversation” with Terry about the possibility of signing him in the summer and he’s confident that he could pull off the deal having known the defender for a considerable amount of time. This could well prove decisive if Terry decides to stay in the Premier League.

Any Chinese club [5/1]

With the Chinese Super League having grown considerably over the past season, could Terry be the latest to make the switch to Asia? Chinese clubs have spent big money to bring a lot of Chelsea’s former colleagues to the league, including Ramires, Oscar, John Obi Mikel and former boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, who might be interested in a reunion. With major money on offer and a more laidback level of football, Terry could be tempted by all the zeros at the end of his paycheque for one final swansong.

Any MLS club [8/1]

A comparable, but perhaps more preferable, option to moving to the Chinese Super League would be moving to Major League Soccer in the United States. With a host of MLS clubs interested in Terry’s signature, he’d have no shortage of options and, given his status in the game, would be able to command a massive wage before he hangs up his boots. The American lifestyle would be appealing; depending on where he moved to, there would be sun, a more relaxed standard of football and a huge paycheque. What’s not to like? He’d also be following in the footsteps of former teammate Frank Lampard, who moved out to New York City before his retirement.

Arsenal [12/1] 

I’ve got next to no idea as to why SkyBet have even given odds on Terry moving to Arsenal, but at 12/1, they’re the sixth favourite destination for the 36-year-old. In truth, the move would make a fair bit of sense. Terry’s clearly comfortable in London and moving across the capital would mean he doesn’t have to change anything about his life. It’s the simplest of options, but is it practical in reality? Chelsea and Arsenal are sworn rivals and I don’t think Terry would want to damage his high standing with the Chelsea fans by moving to the Gunners. He need only look at Cesc Fabregas’ move to west London for an example of how damaging that can be…

Where will John Terry be playing next season? Will he retire? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Oli Stein

Football Editor

Oli graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in History and has been RealSport's football editor since September 2016.

He's a Tottenham Hotspur fan first and objective football writer second!

Oli is also a defensive end for American football club the London Blitz, starting his career on the offensive line with his Bristol university team.

Swansea, MLS or China: Where next for Chelsea’s John Terry?

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