Outbound Chelsea captain John Terry will reportedly be offered a management role with Danish side Brondby when he leaves Stamford Bridge this summer. Plus, the Blues are understood to be eyeing a club-record bid to re-sign Romelu Lukaku.
According to the Mirror's John Cross, Brondby owner Jan Bech Andersen is friends with Terry and would be open to offering the centre-back a player/coach role with the club in future. An extract from the report added that Terry isn't short of options, however:
Terry has already had strong interest from the Middle East as his former Chelsea team mate Gianfranco Zola manages Al-Arabi and has admitted publicly that he would like to sign him.
There has also been interest from China and Terry will not be short of offers if he leaves Chelsea this summer.
Former England captain Terry admits that he would like to stay at Stamford Bridge but says he has been told there is no forthcoming offer.
Terry's decision will depend greatly on how willing he is to begin the transition into management now, rather than continue pursuing a playing career outside the English top flight.
Should Chelsea offer Terry a new contract?
The managerial role at Brondby is free after Thomas Frank quit the club last week, but sporting director Troels Bech told Danish daily Ekstra Bladet there is a long list of applicants (h/t Joe Short of the Daily Express): "I have evidence that there are 20 or more very brave coaches at a very high level who have already put the ticket in. So we'll work very closely in the selection of candidates, (to find) one we believe can lead us in our goals."
Cross later confirmed Terry has been installed as favourite to take over at the Brondby helm, however, despite the fact he has another three months left to run on his Chelsea contract:
John Terry now favourite among the Danish bookies as next Brondby boss...— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) March 14, 2016
The end of Terry's 21-year association with Chelsea is likely to also mean the end of his playing career in England after Sky Sports' Andy Burton said in February he won't sign for a member of the competition: "Don't expect him to join another Premier League club."
Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins, who has worked closely with Terry in the past 20 years, told BT Sport's Fletch and Sav show he believes his old club are making a big mistake allowing the player to leave:
The 35-year-old's time at Stamford Bridge may be drawing to a close, but a lower-profile opportunity such as the one offered by Brondby could give four-time Premier League winner Terry a prime path into management.
Meanwhile, former team-mate Lukaku is said to be on the Blues' inbound list. Toffees manager Roberto Martinez admitted that despite the investment of new major shareholder Farhad Moshiri, they may still be forced to sell their prized assets.
Per the Guardian's Richard Jolly, the tactician said: "If Manchester United cannot keep Cristiano Ronaldo, that is a sign of a modern game. If you sell a player for those sorts of amounts, you can get the benefit of adding three or four players.”
As a player, individually, I am doing my best. I have grown as a player, as a man, and as an individual. Technically I became stronger, faster, better and my performances are better.
It is not like I play three games great and six games bad, I have always been good this year and this is something I wanted. If you look at all the big players in the league they do it from day one to the 38th game of the season and that is what I want to do.
Chelsea have watched their former starlet's progress with interest, and Jolly said the reigning Premier League champions "may return to Goodison with a club-record bid."
Lukaku's 180-degree transformation at Everton was illustrated by his two-goal display in Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup win over his old club, and the Sun provided footage of the Belgian's terrific second strike:
The £50 million paid for Fernando Torres in January 2011 remains the highest fee Chelsea have forked out in the transfer market, while it's almost been two years since they recruited Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid for £32 million.
While the Blues may be eager to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, there's no guarantee the player would be keen on the thought of a return, having been spurned by the club once before.