April 18, 2017

Bilic: Terry Career Not Over  (Sky Sports)

John TerrySlaven 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 about them.

"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.

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