John Terry: Aston Villa sign ex-Chelsea & England captain

Villa ambition is Premier League - Terry

Aston Villa have signed former Chelsea and England captain John Terry.

The 36-year-old defender, whose contract at Stamford Bridge expired on 30 June, has signed a one-year deal with the Championship club.

Terry said he turned down offers to carry on playing in the Premier League for more money because he did not want to play against Chelsea.

He won 78 caps for England, played 717 games for the Blues and won his fifth Premier League title in May.

Villa finished 13th in the Championship last season but Steve Bruce's side are among the favourites to win automatic promotion to the top flight in 2017-18.

Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp said in June that his club had made an offer to Terry, who announced in April that he would be leaving Chelsea.

Terry has played for only two other English clubs - Chelsea and Nottingham Forest, with whom he had a short loan spell in 2000.

'A new chapter'

Terry, who made his debut as a late substitute in a League Cup tie against Villa in 1998, said he had lots of offers to play abroad as well as remain in the top flight.

But he said: "The mental side of playing against Chelsea was too much to get over for me. I was there for 22 years at the football club. I am very proud of that but this is a new chapter in my life and career.

"My thoughts are 100% here and the ambition is to get us back to the Premier League. It's a huge club. Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums in the country and there's a good group of players here.

"I can't wait to get started now and look to help the squad achieve something special this season. It's a club that deserves to be in the Premier League and I still want to continue playing.

"I am hungry to still play with a team and manager that has the same ambition as me to get promoted."

May: John Terry 'sad and emotional' at Chelsea farewell

'Mutual respect' behind Villa move

Pat Murphy, BBC Radio 5 live

The key to Terry's decision to join Villa is his high regard for Bruce and Steve Round.

Villa did not offer the best financial deal but there is a massive mutual respect between the player, Villa's manager and the director of football.

Round forged a close working relationship with Terry when he was assistant to England head coach Steve McClaren and Terry was the highly influential captain. When Fabio Capello succeeded McClaren, Terry lobbied in vain for Round to be kept on England's coaching staff. Terry always hoped he would work with him again at club level.

The package offered by Villa is a very handsome one. He could clear around £4m next season if all the incentives are achieved, especially promotion, but he would have earned a lot more if he had joined other clubs - including several from the Premier League, China, the United States or Turkey's Galatasaray.

Terry knows his own worth. He was never going to come cheap. But this move to Villa is more about professional ambition and the value of good contacts. It is a coup for Bruce and Round, who stayed doggedly in the inside track, keeping Villa's nose ahead.

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