New Aston Villa defender John Terry says he has discussed the prospect of managing Chelsea with Frank Lampard.
The 36-year-old, who made over 700 appearances and won 15 major honours with the Blues, signed a one-year deal with Villa on Monday after snubbing more lucrative offers to remain a top-flight player.
While he is not taking on a coaching role at Villa, he is taking his coaching badges and, asked if he hoped to lead his former club one day, he said in the Daily Telegraph: “I think that’s a goal for all of us. Me and Lamps have had those conversations.
“Do you dream too big? I don’t think you ever can. I’ve always wanted to be the very best and if that’s in management, then Chelsea’s the one and obviously in an ideal world that would be incredible, but I do realise as well that you can’t go in at somewhere like Chelsea as your first job. You need to go and learn, whether that’s in the academy like Stevie [Gerrard] is doing [at Liverpool].
“It’s difficult to get jobs. I see a lot of players from my generation not walking into jobs that maybe I thought they would get. So I think you need to go out and do your work and put your minutes in on the pitch and make your mistakes that no one sees so that when you do go in, you’re kind of ready.”
Terry said he had decided to join a Championship club because he was uneasy about representing one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals so soon after bidding Stamford Bridge farewell.
Swansea and West Brom were keen to keep him in the uppermost division but ex-England captain Terry, whose capture was announced in a faux WhatsApp conversation by Villa, told PA Sport: “Playing against Chelsea just doesn’t sit right with me, to be honest.
“Whether that’s different in a year’s time, I don’t know. The raw emotion of leaving the club after so long there … [playing against them] just didn’t sit right with me.
“I had a lot of big financial offers to play in the Premier League and still play at the top, but once I took that decision out of it — that I wasn’t playing in the Premier League — this was an easy one for me.
“For a few weeks I switched off and a lot of managers gave me a lot of time and respect to make my decision and come to terms with it.
“After 22 years at Chelsea it took a few weeks longer than I probably predicted. They were 22 fantastic and unbelievable years that I will never forget but I’m excited about this challenge here of getting us up.”
Terry’s availability this summer had also piqued the interest of teams much further afield, and one considerably closer to Villa Park.
Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp revealed they attempted to tempt the free agent across the city while Terry confirmed offers from abroad were also on the table.
“It wasn’t a financial decision. If that was the case I certainly wouldn’t be here,” Terry added at his press conference.
“I could have played in the Premier League — I had offers from other Premier League clubs, with a lot more money — or on other continents.
“I’m here because the hunger and the ambition is the exact same as mine, and that’s to win this league and get back to the Premier League.”
It was that desire that Villa boss Steve Bruce latched on to for a sales pitch that was delivered, in part, during a round of golf in Portugal.
“We’ve had many conversations, but most of it was about playing the last few years of your career,” Bruce revealed.
“I think he can still go on beyond this year but that’s going to be about John’s intent. John’s been fortunate in that he hasn’t had a great deal of injuries in his career. Even when he beat me at golf he only had half a shandy…”
As Terry starts a new chapter in his career, the ending of the last instalment continues to the subject of a Football Association investigation.
PA Sport reports that the FA is still looking at the defender’s pre-planned substitution against Sunderland in May, which was scheduled to begin in the 26th minute in a nod to Terry’s shirt number, after three punters who wagered a bet on that outcome were paid out by a bookmaker.