Sam Allardyce has dismissed the prospect of John Terry joining Crystal Palace when he leaves Chelsea at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old is to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires in the summer, and he intends to play on.
Offers to remain in London may appeal to Terry should he choose against uprooting his family, but even as Palace edge closer to securing their Premier League status their manager insists Terry has no place in his plans.
Palace have no option to retain Mamadou Sakho beyond the end of his loan spell and Damien Delaney’s contract is also due to expire around the same time this summer.
Terry also represents the profile of signing Allardyce has often made in his career, such as when recruiting Youri Djorkaeff and Jay Jay Okocha at Bolton and Michel Salgado at Blackburn.
However, when asked about Terry, he said: “I’ve got Scott Dann, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Damien Delaney and Martin Kelly, so actually in central defence we’re looking pretty secure.
“I’m not sure if that’s going to be a position we’ll look at if and when we’re safe, and hopefully we are safe by the end of the season. But that position looks pretty healthy from the number of the players we have.
“I’m not so sure that John, yes, fantastic player that he is, yes he’d do us a great job, but with those amount of centre-halves at the club I can’t see that happening at the moment.”
The terms of his loan agreement means Sakho is ineligible for Sunday’s Premier League fixture at parent club Liverpool, but Allardyce has the fit-again James Tomkins available to deputise, as well as Loic Remy and James McArthur in contention.
“Mama can’t play so it’s important that James is back, and Loic gives us another option,” said Allardyce, whose team host Tottenham and Burnley in the space of six days after the trip to Anfield.
“James is back from his back spasm and Patrick van Aanholt’s just got back. That’s four key players there.
“(Jeffrey) Schlupp’s done a job while Patrick’s been injured so there’s a big fight for places there now.
“We’re in Champions League form for picking points up, which should give us a huge amount of confidence on Sunday. Hopefully we can be good enough, big enough and brave enough, and confident enough to try and repeat what we’ve done (in impressing) against Chelsea and Arsenal recently.”