Interim manager Guus Hiddink has claimed that “the door is not shut” for John Terry at Chelsea, despite the Blues captain revealing he intends to leave the club at the end of the season.
After the club opted to not renew his contract, Terry revealed on Sunday night that he would be leaving Stamford Bridge.
The Blues captain admitted that the incoming manager may be able to convince him to stay this summer, as Chelsea hinted that they could still offer Terry a new contract.
And interim boss Hiddink claims that “the door is not shut” for the 35-year-old to stay at the club, adding that his decision was “surprising”.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Watford, Hiddink said: “It was a bit surprising, but he’s completely entitled to do so when his contract is expiring.
“I like him very much, the way he is playing and committed to the team – and he will be, I can assure you of that.
“I had some conversations with him in the past days about all kinds of things in football.
“Regardless the situation of the club and he is in now, he will be not just be professional, but with all his heart as well.”
Terry has been linked with big money moves to the MLS, the middle east and China, and it would be a remarkable change of mind for him to stay at Chelsea for a 19th season.
Terry is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club and may do so before a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho is appointed.
Hiddink says Terry, who turned 35 last December, is still capable of performing at the top level.
The Dutchman added: “He’s very fit. He’s not what you would normally see a 35-year-old, 36-year-old player, that you feel that you get a little bit slower, you cannot accept that you’re getting into a danger zone for red cards.
“None of that for John. He’s fit and he’s performing as he’s doing while I’m here and he will do. I’m convinced.
“The door is not shut. Dialogue is always possible. There was no specific decision made yet. It’s early.
“We have to see in the progress reports and what’s coming up in the transition of the management.”