Premier League • England

Thiago Silva sends tearful goodbye message to Chelsea as likely next move is revealed

Thiago Silva is leaving Chelsea this summer with the Brazilian releasing an emotional goodbye message

Thiago Silva is leaving Chelsea this summer

A tearful Thiago Silva has confirmed he will leave Chelsea at the end of the season – but has teased at returning to the Premier League club in the future as he plans for the next stage of his career.

On Sunday, TEAMtalk revealed veteran defender Silva would depart Stamford Bridge as a free agent this summer, ending a four-year spell with Chelsea, and that Brazilian outfit Fluminense was his most likely destination.

The 39-year-old is understood to be currently assessing his options amid interest from former club AC Milan, Orlando City in the MLS, Al-Nassr from Saudi Arabia, and clubs in the English top-flight.

While he mulls over his next move, Silva has made 151 appearances for the Blues and won the Champions League, Club World Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup – enhancing his already glittering career.

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On Monday morning, the former Paris Saint-Germain confirmed he would leave Chelsea at the end of the campaign in an emotional message from the Brazil international.

‘I can only say thank you’

He said in a video statement via the club’s website: “Chelsea means a lot to me. I came here with the intention of only staying for a year and it ended up being four years. Not just for me but for my family, too.

“My sons play for Chelsea so it’s a source of great pride to be a part of the Chelsea family – literally because my sons are here. I hope they can continue their careers here at this victorious club that many players wish to be part of. I think in everything I did here over the four years, I always gave my all.

“But, unfortunately, everything has a start, a middle and an end. That doesn’t mean that this is a definitive end. I hope to leave the door open so that in the near future I can return, albeit in another role here. But…it’s an indescribable love. I can only say thank you.”

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Silva joined Chelsea from PSG just before his 36th birthday and many would have been forgiven for believing his career was winding down. However, his experience and quality has proven invaluable for his team in a performance sense, but also helping the club’s younger defenders grow and improve.

The ex-Fluminense man – who has made 803 appearances in his career, earned 113 caps for his country, and won trophies in Brazil, Italy, France, and England – came off during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend, raising the possibility he may have played his last game for the club.

While that remains to be seen, he admitted it has been a “dream” to play for the Blues over the past few years and that fans may see him back at Stamford Bridge in the not so distant future.

Silva bids Chelsea farewell… for now

He added: “Obviously, when I started here, it was during the pandemic so there wasn’t any fans in the stadium. But through social media, it became something very special to me and then when the fans started coming back to the stadium and life was getting back to normal, I started to feel a lot of affection and respect for my story and for my start here.

“It is already hard saying goodbye in the most normal of circumstances but when there is a mutual love, it’s even harder. But once a Blue, always a Blue. The way in which I came to the club, with the support of the club, I got to the club as a leader even though I didn’t feel like it having arrived as the new guy.

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“It’s always difficult to integrate but bit by bit I became part of the group and (Frank) Lampard played a big part in that. I am grateful to him for that. [It’s been a] dream, definitely a dream.

“Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could achieve such great things and win one of the best professional titles, the Champions League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Goodbyes are for those that leave and don’t come back. I intend on coming back one day…”