Arsene Wenger has denied reports that have linked Chelsea captain John Terry with a move to London rivals Arsenal, despite admiring the defender’s leadership qualities.
Wenger’s comments follow Sunday evening’s news that Terry will not be offered a new one-year contract with the Blues. The Arsenal manager feels that the player represents Chelsea to such an extent that he would be unable to play for another Premier League side.
“If he wants to play longer, I am sure he will play for Chelsea.”
In a surprise move, it was Terry himself who first broke the news, though the decision seemed to be unplanned.
Speaking to the media after Chelsea’s 5-1 hammering of MK Dons at the weekend, Terry stated that he had asked for clarification on his future at a meeting earlier in the month.
“I knew before the Arsenal game so mentally I’ve kind of accepted it. We just have to move on.”
A later statement by a Chelsea spokesperson however, appeared to cast further doubt about the player’s future, insisting that the “situation could change in the coming months”.
Having joined the club at just 14 years of age, and with over 475 appearances in the Premier League, Terry is the longest-serving player currently at the club.
64% of Chelsea’s trophies since the club was formed have come with John Terry in the team https://t.co/HUSQsTExKT
— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) February 1, 2016
Former Gunners defender Martin Keown also waded into the discussion, taking to twitter following the reports that Terry might be a target for Arsenal during deadline day.
His statement comparing Arsenal legend Tony Adams with Terry caused a stir online, getting more than 1500 retweets.
— Martin Keown (@martinkeown5) January 31, 2016
Subeditor: Arthur Renard