Championship club Aston Villa has signed former England and Chelsea captain John Terry on a one-year contract.
The news was confirmed shortly after Villa owner Dr. Tony Xia had tweeted: “Welcome JT to Birmingham city…Aston Villa!”
The 36-year-old defender, whose contract at Stamford Bridge expired on 30 June said he turned down offers to carry on playing in the Premier League for more money because he did not want to play against Chelsea.
The move is one of the most lucrative ever signed by a player in the Championship, and could see 36-year-old Terry earn (£60,000 a week) £4m if he can help secure a successful promotion campaign.
Terry told the club’s official website: “I am delighted to join Aston Villa. It’s a club I have admired from afar for many years — there are fantastic facilities at Bodymoor Heath, Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums in the country and there’s a good group of players here, with an experienced and successful manager in Steve Bruce.
“I can’t wait to get started now and look to help the squad achieve something special this season.”
Terry confirmed there is no coaching role involved in his contract with Villa, but was reluctant to indicate whether he would continue his playing career at Villa Park should they get back to the top flight – where he would meet Chelsea.
“If that’s the ideal situation and in one year’s time we’re sitting here with Aston Villa back in the Premier League then I’ve done my job and everyone else has done theirs,” he added. “We can cross that bridge hopefully when we come to it.”
The 36-year-old had offers from West Bromwich Albion, Swansea and Bournemouth, but admitted he turned them down out of loyalty to his former club.
“For me it was just the mental side of playing against Chelsea, it was just too much to get over for me,” said Terry.
“I was 22 years at the football club, 22 unbelievable years, I’m very proud of that but this is a new chapter in my life, my career. I wish Chelsea well next season and will be watching out but my thoughts are 100 per cent here.”Terry has played for only two other English clubs – Chelsea and Nottingham Forest, with whom he had a short loan spell in 2000.
He won 78 caps for England, played 717 games for the Blues and won his fifth Premier League title in May.
Villa finished 13th in the Championship last season but Steve Bruce’s side are among the favourites to win automatic promotion to the top flight in 2017-18.