first_imgLONDON (AP):Chelsea captain John Terry will leave the Premier League champions at the end of the season after the club he has served since the age of 14 told him it would not be renewing his contract.The 35-year-old central defender, the most successful captain in Chelsea’s history, was informed about the decision before last week’s 1-0 league win over Arsenal.”I was in last week before the Arsenal game, and it (my contract) is not going to be extended,” he said. “It’s not going to be a fairy-tale ending. I’m not going to retire at Chelsea.”Ideally, I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction. I needed to know now, like I have done every January, and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done. Unfortunately, it was a ‘no’.”Terry has been offered a faint glimmer of hope about his future at Stamford Bridge, where Dutchman Guus Hiddink has taken over as interim coach until the end of the season, following the firing of JosÈ Mourinho last December.”They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change. It’s a ‘no’ at the minute,” Terry said.”It took me a couple of days to get over.”Having joined the youth ranks and then made his senior debut in 1998, Terry was appointed club captain in 2004. His physical presence, anticipation and leadership qualities made him the outstanding figure in Chelsea’s defence as the club enjoyed a run of trophy success.In total, Terry has helped the club win four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the 2012 Champions League, and the 2013 Europa League. He also captained England during a 78-cap career before he retired from international football in 2012.He held on to the Chelsea captaincy, despite being banned for four matches and fined in 2012 for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.Having made 696 appearances for the Blues, Terry’s next destination is likely to be abroad.”I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure,” he said. “I don’t know where, and I leave that to the people in charge.”Despite the lack of a fairy-tale ending, Terry wished the team well for the future.”The club will move on; no player is ever bigger than the club,” he said. “No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre backs.”I want to come back as a Chelsea supporter in years to come with my kids and see the team doing great. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be with me, but I want to see the team do well.”Chelsea’s season has so far been a chaotic one, with the champions languishing in the wrong half of the table after a poor start under Mourinho.However, yesterday’s 5-1 win over second-tier MK Dons in the FA Cup was the latest indication of a recovery under Hiddink – a revival that Terry wants to see continue in his final season.Chelsea are currently 13th in the Premier League standings on 28 points, 14 behind Tottenham in the fourth and final Champions League slot.”It’s going to be my last year, and I want to go out at the top,” he said.”We spoke about my legacy and coming back to the club when I finish. The most important thing now is to get us up the league.”last_img read more

first_img“I’m not here to replace Neymar,” said the Frenchman.“I will try to make good progress. I am only 20 years old and have a lot to learn. That’s why I came to this big club.”Dembele will form a fearsome forward line alongside five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as Barca aim to wrestle the Champions League and La Liga titles back from rivals Real Madrid.And Dembele expects to learn firsthand from Messi, who he described as the best player in history.“It’s an honour to be a part of Lionel Messi’s team,” added Dembele.“He’s a great player, the best player in the world, the best in the history of football and I am very happy to play in his team.“I will learn, watch how he plays, and how he is on and off the field.”Dembele’s Barca career got off to an inauspicious start as his presentation in front of 18,000 waiting fans at the Camp Nou was delayed for nearly two hours due to a paperwork issue in releasing his registration from Dortmund.With the supporters’ patience tested there were whistles during the delay and chants for Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign.Barcelona’s new player Ousmane Dembele controls a ball at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, during his official presentation by the Catalan club, on August 28, 2017 © AFP / LLUIS GENEBarca’s board has been under huge pressure due to the club’s fading fortunes on the field and being caught cold by Neymar’s decision to leave.The attendance was also well down on the 50,000 fans that welcomed Neymar on his presentation four years ago.“With a player like Ousmane we have a competitive team that can aim, like every year, for the greatest success,” said Bartomeu.Dembele finally emerged in Barca’s famous red and blue strip, sporting the number 11 jersey vacated by Neymar.However, he will have to wait until at least September 9 to make his debut when Barca host Espanyol in a Catalan derby.Dembele announced himself as one of Europe’s top prospects with a stellar season at Dortmund, scoring 10 goals, after joining from Rennes for just 15 million euros a year ago.However, he had been suspended by Dortmund since he boycotted training on August 10 in protest after the German club rejected Barca’s first bid.Dembele becomes Barca’s fifth signing of the summer after Marlon Santos, Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo and Paulinho.And the Catalan giants intend on completing at least one more deal before the transfer window closes on Friday with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho top of their wish list.Coutinho, 25, hasn’t played for Liverpool since submitting a transfer request to try and force through a move earlier this month.“My intention is that another player will come, if possible two,” said Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Barcelona’s new player Ousmane Dembele (R) poses with his new jersey next to Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu at the Camp Nou stadium on August 28, 2017 © AFP / LLUIS GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Aug 28 – French wonderkid Ousmane Dembele shrugged off comparisons with Neymar and insisted he still has much to learn, despite becoming the second most expensive player in history as he was presented by Barcelona on Monday.The 20-year-old’s 105 million-euro ($125 million) transfer from Borussia Dortmund could rise to 145 million with add-ons depending on his performance, as Barca splashed out to fill the gap left by Neymar’s own world record 222 million-euro move to Paris Saint-Germain.last_img read more