John Terry names the two Chelsea players he ‘loves’ as he shuts down Saudi claim

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Chelsea legend John Terry has shut down the idea that he is set to take up a new coaching gig in Saudi Arabia while discussing his former team and their current situation under Mauricio Pochettino. Terry has returned to Stamford Bridge as a coach within the Blues’ academy after working with Dean Smith at both Aston Villa and Leicester, but had been linked with a move to the Middle East.

Reports had suggested that Terry had verbally agreed to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Shabab, where he would coach stars such as Yannick Carrasco, Romain Saidd, Ever Banega and Habib Diallo. However, he has since played down those claims after speaking at a sports memorabilia event.

The 42-year-old also hinted at his next move, which is much closer to home. “There’s been talks but the press are miles off,” Terry said when asked about Saudi speculation, relayed by journalist Simon Phillips. “I’m not going to be (a) manager over there. It’s for a different role and I’ll be based in the UK. It’s very early doors.”

The Sun have claimed that Al-Shabab first have to make a decision on their boardroom setup before deciding on Terry, as elections are being held in the near future to name a new set of directors. At least one of the candidates wants to hire the former centre-back after meeting with him in France, as the ex-Blues captain could join as a coach or sporting director.

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It is unlikely that Chelsea would stand in his way despite returning to the club to work in their academy setup, though Terry has heaped praise on two stars who have come through the Cobham system and are now established first-team players.

When asked for his favourite current Chelsea players, Terry responded: “The two I love, I love Reece [James]. I love Levi [Colwill]. He’s got loads more to come he’s been brilliant so far. Important that Reece stays for and gets his body where it needs to be.”

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After being made club captain, James has since been sidelined with a hamstring injury though is hoping to return to action after the international break – while after an impressive year on loan at Brighton, Colwill penned a new Chelsea contract and has started every Premier League game under Pochettino.

If Terry does end up leaving Chelsea for Al-Shabab in some sort of capacity he will not get the opportunity to enjoy splashing the cash as some of the other bosses have, such as Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard, now in charge of Al-Ettifaq.

The league’s transfer window closed on September 7 – finally putting to bed speculation that stars in England could depart after the Premier League’s window closed earlier in the month.

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