Belfast Telegraph

Mark Hughes not ruling out Stoke move for John Terry

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is not ruling out the club trying to sign John Terry this summer but has emphasised he expects there will be "a lot of interest" in the veteran defender.

The 36-year-old Chelsea captain is leaving the Blues when his contract expires at the end of the season.

When asked on Friday about Stoke possibly making a move for the former England skipper, Hughes - a Chelsea player when Terry was in the club's youth ranks - said: "John's going to move somewhere, he's an outstanding player and he's someone I know very well.

"I think there will be a lot of interest in John Terry.

"Whether or not we'd be able to present anything to John that would make him think, I don't know - I've not had that conversation.

"I spoke briefly with him after the Chelsea game (Stoke's 4-2 loss at Stamford Bridge on New Year's Eve) and had a laugh and a joke about things, about where his future lies.

"But I think probably every person he meets is asking him about his future. I'm not sure whether or not that's a viable one for us."

Hughes feels Terry, who has made only six Premier League appearances this season, still has plenty to offer in the English top flight in terms of his ability.

And he added: "You're not only getting John Terry the player, you're getting the leader and the individual as well.

"He's got a lot of experience that he can impart so someone will benefit from that."

It was in March that Hughes first spoke about having had the December 31 conversation with Terry about his future.

At that point he appeared keen to play down the prospect of attempting to recruit him.

It was a time at which the Welshman was also saying he believed Stoke were "very close" to agreeing a permanent deal for another centre-back, Bruno Martins Indi, who has been on loan with the Potters from Porto this term.

That situation looks to have changed somewhat, with Hughes on Friday saying he thinks Porto's current position is that they do not want to sell Martins Indi.

"We're trying to do that one, but he's not our player so we're in the hands of Porto" Hughes said.

"They hold all the cards - they're his club. We'll try to make it happen and I know Bruno is very happy here, but it could be dependent on how easy or difficult his club are to negotiate with.

"At the moment I think Porto have made the stand that they don't want to sell. It might be that that is just part of the negotiation process and we have to work around that to get to a point where everyone's happy with the deal that's on the table, but we're not there yet.

"It's not progressed in recent weeks. It's more likely to be one that will get done in the summer - we hope.

"That's our intention - we want to get it done if we can. But it's a little bit out of our hands to be honest."

Asked if any move for Terry would be dependent on the Martins Indi situation, Hughes said: "Our intention is to try to get Bruno over the line if we can, and then we'll see what happens and what else is available."

Hughes was speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Bournemouth - another side to have been linked with Terry.

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