Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has said the time is right for John Terry to leave the club, despite achieving legendary status at Stamford Bridge.
Tom Sheen of the Independent quoted the France World Cup winner discussing the club captain's future, and the former centre-back compared his experience at Chelsea when Terry broke into the starting XI:
It's sad because John has served the club very well and won many things with them.
But there is a time for everything. It happened the same to me, in 2001 I realised that John Terry was about to come up and take my place! So I decided to leave. I understand the ambition of the club, when you reach a certain age [they] have to think twice about making certain decisions.
Terry recently announced he will be leaving the reigning champions at the end of this season when his contract expires, per BBC Sport. The iconic centre-back explained he wanted to remain with Roman Abramovich's club, but a new deal had not been forthcoming.
"Ideally, I would have loved to stay, but the club's moving in a different direction," he said. "It will be elsewhere for sure. I couldn't play for another Premier League club. It's not going to be a fairytale ending. I'm not going to retire at Chelsea, which it took me a couple of days to get over."
The defender has struggled this season at the back, but a lack of form has matched the issues present in every part of the pitch for Chelsea during the first half of the campaign.
Terry and his team-mates failed ex-boss Jose Mourinho in the months after winning the Premier League title, evaporating into also-rans after proving to be the best in England.
The departure of quality and results has undoubtedly seen Terry's time at Chelsea cut short, after starting 45 times in the Premier League and Europe in 2014-15, according to WhoScored.com.
Journalist Dan Levene stated it is his belief that Terry's announcement outstripped the departures of a host of Blues legends:
Suffice to say, some departures in recent history of club have felt seismic: Lampard, Cech, Drogba, Mourinho. JT declaration beyond the lot.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 31, 2016
In other news, interim manager Guus Hiddink has declared Chelsea did not turn down a huge bid from China for attacker Oscar.
Jason Burt of the Telegraph claimed Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning, who recently purchased Ramires, had made a £75 million offer for Oscar—but the Blues had rejected the approach.
However, Hiddink has denied the reports of an offer for the Brazil international, as quoted by Simon Osborn of Metro: "Well we know that just Ramires had a great offer but Oscar for me is just speculation," he said. "We do not go into that."
Terry's exit at the end of the campaign will be an emotional affair for Blues supporters, but it is essential the focus is now on rebuilding rather than sentiment.
Should Chelsea offer Terry a new deal?
The defender has failed this season as his body slowly gave way to the rigours of time, but he has already achieved more than most in a Chelsea shirt.
The reigning champions are likely to miss out on the Champions League next season, and like Manchester United in 2014-15, the new approach will be to attract fresh talent to reclaim lost ground.
The timing of Terry's announcement is questionable, as Hiddink attempts to relight Chelsea's fortunes, and the defender could have helped his manager more by keeping the news under wraps until the last weeks of the season.