John Terry has set his sights on helping Chelsea regain their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League after signing a one-year contract extension.
The 35-year-old defender had looked on his way out of Stamford Bridge after some 703 first-team appearances, with his current deal set to expire on June 30.
However, following discussions with the club, an agreement has now been reached for the captain to stay on under new manager Antonio Conte next season.
While his exact role, which Terry himself indicated was expected to be “different”, has yet to be clarified, there is no doubt of what impact the presence of the man Chelsea supporters describe as ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ will have in and around the club again.
Terry was clearly moved by the reaction of fans as he made an emotional speech after the season-concluding 1-1 draw with Premier League champions Leicester, for which he was suspended.
The veteran former England skipper believes both he and Chelsea can make an impact in 2016/2017, having finished 10th this season, and so missing out on European football.
“I am delighted to sign a new contract with the club. Everyone knows I’m Chelsea through and through. I am looking forward to next season under the new manager and hopefully we can make it a successful one,” Terry said, quoted on the club’s official website.
“Also, a special mention to the fans for their continued support. You’re the best in the world.”
Terry, who joined Chelsea at the age of 14, had been reportedly fielding offers from elsewhere, including cash-rich China and the United States.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck welcomed the news of a new deal for their long-serving captain, who has won the Champions League, Europa League and four Premier League titles as well as five FA Cups and three League Cups.
“We are delighted John will spend another year at the club. He has been the leader of the Chelsea squad throughout the most successful period in our history,” Buck said.
“He recently reached the 700-appearance mark, which is testament to his professionalism and dedication as well as his undoubted talent.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “We look forward to another year with John at the club, and believe he will be an important figure in the dressing room and on the pitch as we look to bring success back to the club next season.”
The Blues, meanwhile, are reported to be set for a club-record kit deal with Nike, which is said to be worth some £60million-a-year.
Chelsea had agreed a lucrative 10-year tie-up with Adidas in 2013, which has subsequently been cut short by the club and will now finish at the end of next season.