Belfast Telegraph

John Terry signs up for Chelsea title challenge

By Matt McGeehan

Chelsea and Jose Mourinho have secured their first major signing of the summer as captain John Terry signed a one-year contract extension.

Terry's current deal was due to expire on June 30, but now the 33-year-old will continue to the end of the 2014-15 campaign and in all likelihood end his playing career at Stamford Bridge.

It remains to be seen if record goalscorer Frank Lampard or Ashley Cole will follow suit.

Mourinho, who presented his end-of-season report to the Chelsea hierarchy on Monday, had previously insisted the Blues were in no rush to conduct their summer business.

But the Terry deal was completed as a priority, reports continue to circulate that a transfer has been agreed with Atletico Madrid for striker Diego Costa and David Luiz is rumoured to be close to an exit.

With Mourinho outlining Chelsea's ambition to challenge for the title this summer the addition of a prolific goalscorer is a must.

Retaining Terry was, too, after the defender's rejuvenation under Mourinho. Terry, who graduated from Chelsea's academy and made his first-team debut in 1998, paid tribute to the self-proclaimed Special One after agreeing to a 17th season in the first team.

Terry said: "I'm delighted to have signed an extension to my contract with Chelsea, taking me into my 20th year with the club.

"I'd like to thank the fans and club for their continued support, and the manager who was instrumental for me the last season."

Terry, who joined the club aged 14, has played 621 games for Chelsea, scoring 57 goals, and has been captain on 490 occasions.

He has won three Premier League titles, the 2012 Champions League, the 2013 Europa League, five FA Cups (2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012), two League Cups (2005, 2007) and the Community Shield (2005, 2009).

Offers were forthcoming from elite clubs abroad, but Terry's preference was always to stay at Stamford Bridge.

The futures of two other Chelsea stalwarts are still to be clarified. They are Lampard, who is 36 in June, and Cole, who may be tempted to play elsewhere after being a peripheral figure this term, are both imminently out of contract.

Mourinho insisted he wanted all three to stay and now has his wish regarding Terry.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: "We are very pleased John will continue to lead the team next season, as he has done for so many years.

"Both Chelsea FC and John have been clear throughout that we wanted his career at the club to continue, and it is important the matter has been concluded so soon, allowing us to look forward to and plan for 2014/15."

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