Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hinted that John Terry is already transitioning to a coaching career with the Blues.
The 36-year-old has already signaled that he would like to continue playing for another two years, but his coach has pointed out the help he already gives behind the scenes.
This could mean that the former England international is giving a thought to going in to coaching sooner than expected.
‘John is our captain and I think he’s doing a great job when he played. Now that he’s not playing, he’s helping me a lot in the changing room, to send the right message to the players. This is fantastic,’ Conte said on Tuesday.
‘In this period I’m pleased a lot to know the man and not only the player. I think, I repeat, he’s a really important player for us. If he plays or if he doesn’t play, he remains our captain.
‘It’s important for him to send out the right message in the changing room, to send the right spirit of this club.
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‘For me, I hope to have him available to play, but also in this moment it’s important to have him in this role.
‘He’s injured, but he’s helping us in these games, in every game… He comes with us, home and away, staying with us, transferring the right message. It’s very positive, very positive.’
When pushed on whether the defender will get a new contract – his current deal ends in the summer – the Italian continued: ‘I think it’s important now to be focused on the moment, and not thinking about the future.
‘John is able to do a different role in football, but now it’s important to be focused and continue to think about him playing, because we need him.’
A club spokesman added that Chelsea don’t tend to talk to players about contracts until later in the season.