John Terry says the decision to leave Chelsea was the “toughest of my life”, but revealed he wants to play regular football again.
Terry and the Blues this week announced the 36-year-old will bring the curtain down on his illustrious Stamford Bridge career at the end of the season.
The club captain has won 14 major honours and made 713 appearances since his first-team debut in 1998.
But Terry has been a bit-part player for the Blues this season, featuring in just five Premier League games for Antonio Conte’s table toppers.
Writing on Instagram, the former England skipper said: “It’s with overwhelming emotion that earlier this week the club and I announced this will be my last season as a Chelsea player.
“This has been the toughest decision of my life for me and my family, but I always envisaged leaving on the right terms, in the right way and at the right time – and that is now.
“I feel I still have regular football in me but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited. It is therefore time for a new challenge.”
Terry made no mention of his next destination, with China or the United States possible options as well as potentially staying in England with the likes of Bournemouth, who were linked with the defender in January.
However Terry, who has made enough appearances to receive another Premier League winners’ medal this term should Chelsea land the title, did reiterate his desire to return to the Bridge in another role somewhere along the line.
“I look forward to returning to this great club in some capacity in the future,” he added.
“I want to stress that the journey is not yet over. There is a long way to go and we are committed to ending this campaign on a high.
“I am fully focused on helping the team and manager in every way I can until the end of the season.”