John Terry Reportedly Set to Follow Juan Mata out of Chelsea

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

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The news of Juan Mata's exit from Stamford Bridge could be followed by another high-profile departure this season, with John Terry's time at Chelsea coming to its apparent end.

Along with fellow West London stalwarts Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, the centre-back will be out of contract in the summer, with The Mirror's John Cross writing that no extension is in sight:

Sources close to Terry say he is now becoming resigned to the fact that he will not be at Stamford Bridge next season.

He knows his next contract is likely to be his last as a player and is keen to secure a three-year deal. The indications from Chelsea are that there is little chance of a compromise on the length of the contract.

Sky Sports News says Mata is set to undergo a medical in Manchester on Friday, signifying the biggest departure for the club since Jose Mourinho once again took the reins in West London. 

Despite his age, 33-year-old Terry continues to show his worth as one of Europe's elite defenders in his position, forming a solid partnership alongside Gary Cahill this season.

The former England international has started in all of the Blues' 22 Premier League matches this season, per Transfermarkt, and although one can understand why Chelsea would be against the idea of offering a lengthy deal, Terry's servitude to the club has been remarkable.

That being said, a 19-year association could come to its close in June, and a raft of sides are sure to show interest in the veteran's potential free transfer.

Cross goes on to mention that Roberto Mancini's Galatasaray are one such outfit eyeing a deal to bring in the defender, adding on Twitter that Terry's form has been good enough for a World Cup call-up:

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Mourinho struck up a highly fruitful relationship with Terry during his first stint at the club, but his and the club's treatment of the player shows that no love is lost in the pursuit of future success.

The manager denied that a deal was in place to keep the lifelong Chelsea star in blue last week, according to Ben Jefferson of The Express:

 He said: “What has to come will come naturally. We don't need to be involved in public discussions, everything will come naturally.

“In the end we will do the best thing for the club and the best thing for the players.”

He added: “I think it is a different picture than last season when John was not playing, Frank was not playing. You could imagine lots of things.

“As long as the situation is very calm I keep saying the same thing: we trust them, they trust us so it is not the situation to make a contract desperately tomorrow or next week. No, everything is calm.”

Asked if he wanted Terry to continue at the club next season, Mourinho said: “I would like him to play against Man United the same way he is playing now and if he does that against Man United he is going to play the next game.”

Above all, it appears the team's prospects come before sentiment, and it would seem that Terry's long-term involvement isn't in the blueprint.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Chelsea fans show their support for John Terry during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

From a business mentality, it's fairly sound reasoning as Mourinho attempts to create a young, hungry squad. But right now, there can be little denying that Terry remains Chelsea's leading defender.

For now at least, he may have to get used to the idea of playing elsewhere in what would be his 16th year as a professional.

Legacy or not, the Chelsea staple's exit would reinforce the notion that the times are certainly changing at Stamford Bridge.