You're club captain – Captain, Leader, Legend, if you like – and just coming towards the last year of your contract. You’ll be waiting for a call from the club about negotiations for a new one, or an extension at least. Then, all of a sudden, nothing happens. Welcome to the world of John Terry.
Ten months ago, with the FA cup and Champions’ league trophy on the sideboard, the thought on not being offered a new contract was the stuff of the darkest nightmares. As they say however, dreams, even bad ones, come true. Since the end of last season, Drogba has gone, Lampard seems superfluous to next season’s requirements, and a seemingly guaranteed first eleven place has disappeared into the backwaters of Europa League football, whilst the ever-improving David Luiz and the solid Branislav ivanovic fill the centre back slots in the big games.
Newspaper reports recently have been of Terry relaxed to leave such considerations to the summer. It may have been a similar stance to that taken by Lampard last season – and he’s apparently still waiting. Chelsea have a 'Over 30 = One year' policy when contracts become due, and even the still hugely effective Ashley Cole was only offered a contract with this stipulation. For Terry, there’s potentially a 'bad news, worse news or interesting news' situation brewing over the summer. Should he be looking for a three or even two year deal, it seems fairly certain that he’ll be disappointed.
The ‘bad news’ therefore is if he gets offered the regularity one year offer – at what is highly likely to be a vastly reduced salary. The problem for Terry is that any negotiating room will be curtailed to somewhere between slim and nil. Perhaps not quite a ‘take it or leave it’ situation, but it won’t be far off. The ‘worse news’ unsurprisingly will be 'worse'. A repeat of Lampard’s scenario may well occur, where no offer is forthcoming, with the club prepared to let the contract simply run down, and then let the player move on for free.
Now we come to the ‘interesting news’ option. There has been talk of offers for Terry to move abroad this summer, with interest from Greece, Turkey and Spain to the fore. Although this may have seemed unlikely even a few months ago, it may now just suit all parties. If Terry wants a longer deal, this could be the only way to secure it, and from the club’s perspective, taking a fee now is far more preferable to losing the player for nothing next year. Sure, there’ll be a bit of a ‘wrench’ from both parties to split after so long, perhaps even felt deeper by the fans, but nothing is for ever, and should a deal not be agreed soon, the ‘interesting news’ may just become very interesting indeed.