John Terry has ended speculation over his future by signing a one-year contract extension with Chelsea. The 33-year-old is said to have turned lucrative offers from foreign teams to prolong his stay at Stamford Bridge, after agreeing a deal that will reportedly pay him in the region of £175,000 per week.
Terry, who is a product of Chelsea's youth academy and made his debut in 1998, has been handed the contract after a superb individual season with the Blues, which saw him return to peak form following the return of manager Jose Mourinho, after losing his place under Rafael Benitez last term.
It was initially claimed Terry would have to take a substantial pay cut to extend his spell at Chelsea into his 17th season as a member of the first-team.
Talks appeared to have stalled late in the season, leaving Terry in the dark over his future. But Mourinho had recommended that Chelsea offer the club captain a contract extension and, after negotiations resumed last week, he has been rewarded for strong performances as the Blues finished third in the league and reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
"I'm delighted to have signed an extension to my contract with Chelsea taking me into my 20th year with the club," Terry told Chelsea's website. "I'd like to thank the fans and club for their continued support, and the manager who was instrumental for me the last season."
Chelsea's recently adopted club policy is to offer one-year deals to players in their 30s upon the expiry of their current agreements and, while the player had originally asked for a two-year commitment, he has accepted a shorter arrangement on terms that will still leave him as one of the best paid defenders in the English top-flight.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay added: "We are very pleased John, who is an undoubted Chelsea legend, will continue to lead the team next season, as he has done for so many years with unrivalled achievement.
"Both Chelsea and John have been clear throughout that we wanted his outstanding career at the club to continue, and it is important the matter has been concluded so soon after the end of the season, allowing us to look forward to and plan for 2014-15."
Lampard, Cole to follow suit?
Terry, who joined the club age 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 Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, five FA Cups, two League Cups and the Community Shield.
Terry, who made 47 appearances this season, enjoyed such a successful season alongside Gary Cahill that there was talk he might make himself available for England duty. But last month he ruled out the possibility of an international return and wasn't named in Roy Hodgson's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
With Terry's future resolved, attention will now turn to Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole - fellow Chelsea legends who are also out of contract during the close-season.
A similar deal to Terry's is said to be on the table for England midfielder Lampard, though it remains to be seen whether Mourinho's desire to retain Cole, who this week retired from international football after being left out of England's World Cup squad, is recognised by the club's board.