Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will give John Terry the chance to finish his career with the club, says Swansea coach Gabriele Ambrosetti.
Terry announced in January he would be leaving Chelsea in the summer, but the club maintain there is the possibility of the 35-year-old captain being offered a contract extension.
Italy manager Conte takes charge at Stamford Bridge after this summer’s European Championship and will decide whether Terry prolongs a Chelsea career which has seen him make over 700 appearances.
But Ambrosetti, who spent four years at Chelsea from 1999 to 2003, feels Terry’s leadership skills and winning mentality will appeal to Conte and see the former England captain land a new deal in west London.
“I remember (former Chelsea manager) Claudio Ranieri arrived on a Monday and he watched a game with the reserve team and JT played,” Ambrosetti said ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League visit to Swansea – a fixture the injured Terry will miss.
“The day after he was training with the first team, and on the Saturday he was playing for the first team.
“It was instant and that was it, he was always in the team. You could see he would be a star. He was Mr Chelsea.
“He was unbelievable and he has been unbelievable for 17 years, he was always a winner.
“He has the right attitude and leadership, he is a clever man and I think he has to continue to play for Chelsea.
“I think he will finish his career there because Conte has liked to work with players like him.”
Conte led Juventus to a hat-trick of Serie A titles before leaving Turin in July 2014 and subsequently becoming coach of the national team.
The 46-year-old will become the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea – after Gianluca Vialli, Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo – but Ambrosetti accepts his fellow countryman has a difficult task ahead of him without the prospect of European football next season.
Confirmation of Conte’s appointment this week has seen Chelsea heavily linked with Serie A players, among them Juventus’ midfield powerhouse Paul Pogba, Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.
But Ambrosetti warned: “Chelsea have been one of the biggest teams in the Premier League and they will want to be competitive again next year.
“Yet they might only play once a week next year. They might not get in the Europa League, so will have to approach the transfer market this way.
“It might be difficult to get players without Champions League, to convince them to come.
“But Conte is a strong man and I think he will be able to adapt and be successful.
“Chelsea won the league last season and have had some problems, but Conte is a good motivator and will motivate the players.”
Ambrosetti never flourished at Chelsea following his £3.5million move from Vicenza, making only 23 appearances there in four years and returning to Italy for three different loan spells in that time.
But the former winger reflects fondly on his time in England playing alongside World Cup winners Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf and fellow Italians Vialli, Di Matteo and Gianfraco Zola.
“Every day at Chelsea was special for me,” said Ambrosetti, now part of Francesco Guidolin’s coaching staff at Swansea.
“I always remember on my first day I went to the training ground at 9.30 for an 11am start.
“I wanted to be the first there, but I was the last. They had been there since eight.
“Those are the small details that make a winner and help you win titles, World Cups and European Championships.
“It was different for me mentally, but every game was massive and I got to work with great players.
“But I don’t see playing Chelsea as a big game for me. It is a special game for Swansea – and the main thing is to get the points.”