Chelsea captain John Terry has rejected loan offers from Bournemouth and Swansea City that would have seen him join either club until the end of the season.
That's according to an exclusive from The Sun's Andrew Dillon, with an unnamed source close to the defender saying: "John is concentrating solely on being available when required by Chelsea for the rest of this season. He is not entertaining ideas with clubs abroad either. It’s about taking it week to week at Chelsea to concentrate on trophies as a player."
Darren Lewis and James Whaling of the Mirror had reported Bournemouth were seeking a replacement for Nathan Ake after he was recalled by the Blues following an impressive stint on the south coast during his own loan move there.
Terry has played just eight times for Chelsea in all competitions this season, and Ake's return to Stamford Bridge is likely to put another obstacle between the 36-year-old and regular minutes on the pitch.
So, too, might Kurt Zouma's recovery from a serious knee injury. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reflected on the Frenchman's return and its implications ahead of naming him in the starting lineup against Peterborough United in Sunday's FA Cup third-round match, per ESPN FC's Liam Twomey:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Conte on Zouma: "But now he's in good shape, he's ready to play & ready to resume his career" #cfc1/6/2017, 1:39:55 PM
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Conte says Zouma's recovery means he doesn't see an urgent need to sign another CB in January #cfc1/6/2017, 1:40:38 PM
Terry also played in the 4-1 win—making his first appearance since a six-minute cameo on November 5—but he had an afternoon to forget, as football journalist Dan Levene noted:
Dan Levene @danlevene
Terry red card: brings down Angol, and as last man the ref has few options. Clumsy rather than malicious. But a red.1/8/2017, 4:24:34 PM
Bournemouth can offer the former England international more minutes—particularly with Ake gone—and "he remains desperate for action," but as Lewis and Whaling noted it would likely also spell the end of his Blues career.
Aside from a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest in his youth, where he made six appearances, Chelsea are the only club Terry has represented at a senior level having made 711 outings. The defender has said previously he would not join another Premier League side, so it's unsurprising he's rejected the offers.
With Chelsea five points clear at the top of the table, they have an excellent chance of winning the league title this season.
As tempting as regular football might be for Terry, it was always unlikely he'd accept a move given it would almost certainly bring a premature end to his time at Stamford Bridge, particularly as he will feel he can help his side win the title—even if most of his contributions are from the sidelines.
Meanwhile, FC Cologne manager Peter Stoger has said he remains unconcerned by rumours linking Jonas Hector with the Blues.
The versatile 26-year-old could provide cover either in the left wing-back position or as a holding midfielder. Football writer Jack Lusby believes the German would be a strong acquisition for the Blues:
Jack Lusby @jacklusby_
Chelsea signing Jonas Hector and Michail Antonio would be a pretty big deal in the title race, strengthening even further in a key area.1/10/2017, 9:37:34 AM
Hector is a key player for the Bundesliga outfit and a vital part of their defence, who have shipped just 15 goals this season—only Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt have conceded fewer.
He may still be attainable if the Blues are prepared to splash the cash on him, and he would be a valuable asset in their pursuit of the title.
However, Marcos Alonso has fared well at wing-back thus far, and Cesar Azpilicueta could also fill in there now that Zouma and Ake have provided Conte with more options for the back three, so the Blues aren't desperate for his services.