Bilic believes John Terry's career is far from over and the defender’s
availability will interest "every manager and club".
Chelsea and Terry announced his departure via a statement on Monday, and
when asked whether West Ham would be interested in a potential move for the
36-year-old, Bilic stopped short of confirming the Hammers' transfer plans
but believes Terry will not retire.
"He definitely has got at least a couple of years left with his quality and
experience and leadership," Bilic added.
"Whether that will be with West Ham or elsewhere I don't know, we don't
think about that right now but I don't think it is the end of John Terry's
career. He's going to do well.
"Every manager and club would think about John Terry if he's available
because there are not 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 to be fair I don't think about that right now."
Former centre-half Bilic went on to heap praise on Terry, describing him as
one of the top players and rare leaders of the Premier League era.
"He's on top [Premier League's best ever defenders], together with Rio
Ferdinand," Bilic told Sky Sports News HQ.
"John Terry is like a symbol. When we are talking about leadership and
talking about needing characters and leadership on the pitch, we are talking
"We are talking about Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, we are not talking
about new guys. So John Terry is Mr Chelsea, he's done everything.
"I never played against him but I managed teams against him, against Chelsea
and maybe four times against England with Croatia. He was always like an
anchor there, not only with his quality but his presence and everything. He
was a natural leader."
The 36-year-old defender will end a 22-year association with the Blues when
his contract expires, having won 14 major honours at Stamford Bridge since
making his first-team debut in 1998.