John Terry has revealed he will stay at Aston Villa if the club secure promotion to the Premier League.
Terry joined Steve Bruce’s team last July on a one-year deal after leaving Chelsea, in one of the most lucrative deals signed by a player in the Championship.
The Villa captain recently expressed an interest in moving into management but, ahead of his side’s play-off semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough, live on Sky, Terry says he hopes to be playing Premier League football at Villa Park next season.
“I hope this isn’t the end,” the defender told the club’s official website. “If we go up, I’m staying. And hopefully I can play for a few more years in the Premier League.
“It’s only fair that if we go up, which is the belief within the group, that I stick around. It’s in my contract when I hit a certain number of matches.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it here and love the way I’ve been accepted. I had to perform to get the approval of the fans and the group, and it was a big call by the manager, too, to sign someone at 36 years of age and coming to the end of their career.
“The job isn’t done yet. We’ve got a few more games to go. But hopefully I am here next season.”
The former England captain has made 32 league appearances for Villa, helping them to seal a play-off place for the first time in their history.
As the club seeks a return to the top-tier after a two-year absence, Terry stressed his move was motivated by the promotion aim.
“What was important for me is I never wanted it to be seen as a move simply because I was coming towards the end of my career, and that people thought ‘it’s just another year of getting paid for him’. That’s never been me as a character or me as a footballer. I’d like to think the fans have seen that in my performances this year,” he added.
“I was 36 when I signed and couldn’t have people thinking: ‘he’s done now, he’s just winding down’. I stayed really fit over the summer, even before I knew who my next club was going to be. I put myself in the best possible position to come in and give it a real go.
“Here we are 10 months on. I’d say it’s gone fairly quickly, other than the period of time I spent out injured. But I’ve really enjoyed it and we’ve still got a few games to try and achieve our aim.”