John Terry has reportedly told Aston Villa he will sign a new deal with them – but wants a clause inserted allowing him to miss games against Chelsea should they win promotion to the Premier League.
Villa are one match away from a return to the top table and face Fulham in the Championship play-off final on Saturday.
As part of his existing deal at Villa, promotion back to the Premier League will also earn Terry a £2million bonus.
And the former England captain will also have the option of extending his contract for another season if Villa make it back into the top flight.
But Terry’s reluctance to face Chelsea was evident when he dropped down a division after moving on from Stamford Bridge last summer.
Now the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian say that Villa would be ‘prepared’ to allow Terry to miss games against his former club if he extends his deal.
Discussing the prospect of keeping the 37-year-old at Villa Park next season, manager Steve Bruce said: “I genuinely hope he triggers it. All those phone calls to him last summer, he hasn’t been disappointed with it. From the training ground, to the stadium, to the support, it has all the makings of a big club.
“He has been one of the great defenders of our country. He is a great leader of men, which we don’t produce many of any more. In a quiet way, he is not a ranter and a raver, he is not one who puts heads through doors. He hasn’t exceeded expectations, I just knew what he would give.
“I’m sure he will give it a good go if we get promoted and enjoy the challenge of it. We’ll not pick him against Chelsea if that’s he wants.”