John Terry Unvield as an Aston Villa Player
John Terry has admitted signing for Aston Villa feels ‘strange and very emotional’ after the Chelsea legend confirmed his move on a one-year contract to drop to the Championship and continue his playing career.
Terry, 36, could earn up to £80,000 per week if he helps Villa back to the Premier League after agreeing to join Steve Bruce’s promotion push having linked up with his new manager on an Algarve golf course this summer.
Villa unveiled Terry using a bizarre spoof WhatsApp thread featuring his new team-mates and owner Tony Xia, after the club’s chairman had initially teased the signing on Twitter earlier on Monday.
The faked chat saw Terry bring up who Villa’s No 26 shirt was held by – and incumbent Jonathan Kodjia will hand over the former England captain’s favoured number to him.
Speaking after his signing was confirmed, Terry said: ‘It’s very emotional. It’s a new chapter of my life and my football career. But I’m delighted to be here and be part of Aston Villa.
‘It is strange, but listen – I’m signing for a new club. I’ve had 22 great years at Chelsea, as I’ve said before it’s time for a change for me, I’ve had many great memories at Chelsea but I’m here to be part of a squad that can potentially go up this season with the ambition the same as mine – to compete at the very top and that’s my aim this season.
‘We’ve got a squad and management in place to go and do so as I said before… matching the same ambitions as myself – to get back up competing against the very best and that’s a big reason why I’m here.’
Terry had been in search of a new challenge since agreeing with Chelsea that his 22 years at the club had come to a natural end late last season.
He fielded interest from the Premier League, including from Swansea City and Bournemouth, but was reluctant to take an offer that would put him in direct competition with his former club.
Villa rivalled Birmingham City in trying to sign the five-time Premier League winner and eventually got their man after Bruce’s best efforts to convince Terry on a move to Villa Park.
Club owner and chairman Xia confirmed the Chelsea legend’s arrival on Monday morning, taking a dig at Villa’s local and transfer-market rivals in the process, tweeting: ‘Welcome JT to Birmingham city…Aston Villa! #UTV! @AVFCOfficial Announcement shortly!’
That was followed by the bizarre WhatsApp unveiling where Terry was welcomed by his team-mates and led to awkward group-chat exits of Martin Laursen, Olof Mellburg and Paul McGrath – all of whom left Villa before the turn of the decade.
Terry’s one-year contract is understood to be worth around £80,000 per week — if he hits bonus targets including promotion to the top flight.
Meanwhile, Swansea manager Paul Clement confirmed that Terry chose to drop down to the Championship because he couldn’t face playing against Chelsea in the Premier League.
‘My understanding of the situation is that, with John and his relationship with Chelsea, he was going to find it difficult to be a direct competitor of them in the Premier League,’ Clement told talkSPORT.
‘John is someone I know very well and have a lot respect for and have a good relationship with. Having known him since he was 16 years old and worked with him as well in the later years when I was an assistant at Chelsea, I understand very well his situation.