John Terry has been advised to play on for as long as possible as his Chelsea exit nears.
The 35-year-old captain revealed in January he would be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after a failure to agree a new contract.
Chelsea maintain Terry could yet be offered a one-year extension, the policy for those aged over 30, but the defender could yet accept a lucrative offer from Major League Soccer, China or the Middle East.
Blues caretaker boss Guus Hiddink, who will leave in May, says Terry should continue to play for as long as he can before turning to management, if that is his chosen career direction.
"If you love the game - and he loves the game - play as long as possible," Hiddink said ahead of Saturday's clash at Aston Villa.
"Being a manager is okay, but it's more or less a substitute for being a player.
"To play is the most beautiful thing you can experience if you love the game.
"So try to play as long as possible until they say: 'Hey, grandfather, please leave the pitch now'."
The fate of Terry, who has made more than 700 appearances for the Blues since making his debut in October 1998, could be determined by the incoming successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in December.
Antonio Conte will leave his role as Italy boss after Euro 2016 and has been heavily tipped to take the Chelsea job.
Should Terry wish to become a manager, Hiddink's advice would be to work as an assistant "in the shadows".
The Dutchman, who has had a long, distinguished and well-travelled career, added: "You have to get your (coaching) licence, but if you have that I would recommend going a bit in the shadows and try to get with a good manager.
"Be an assistant if you have the ambition to be one day a manager, go with good managers and learn from them."