Could John Terry really join Mourinho at United?

John Terry, Aston Villa

There have been suggestions recently that former Chelsea defender John Terry could turn down a move to Sporting Lisbon – or a return to Aston Villa – in favour of reuniting with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho at Man Utd. The suggestion – credited initially to Adrian Durham on talkSPORT – may seem somewhat silly on the surface of it, but dig a little deeper and there is certainly an argument to be made for it happening. Assuming there is any interest from the Portuguese manager (who counted Terry as one of his most trusted lieutenants during his two spells in charge in west London) then it would seem somewhat ludicrous to suggest that the former England captain would not harbour any interest in making a short-term move to Old Trafford.

Terry once said he would “walk through walls” for Mourinho, and indeed the pair won several titles together at Stamford Bridge. Their relationship was well known to be close, and despite some of Terry’s off-field problems he was always an assured presence at the back for one of the Premier League’s top teams. It would also seem strange that Terry’s three primary options are as wide-ranging as a Championship club, a Primeira Liga club and the most successful Premier League side in history, but connecting the dots is not a difficult thing to do – and such a move back towards the top of the football pyramid is not without precedence either.

Way back in 2000, 35-year-old former Scotland international Gary McAllister’s career seemed to be winding down following a successful spell at Coventry City. At the end of his contract it was assumed he would be rewarded with a free transfer to perhaps a second tier club, where he could play for a year or two before retiring. Already, this scenario is beginning to sound somewhat familiar. McAllister shocked football, however, when he signed for Liverpool on a Bosman, turning back the years to make a great contribution to the club over the next two years before eventually returning to Coventry as player-manager. He was hailed as a canny operator, and early questions directed towards then-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier regarding the wisdom of signing an ageing player quickly dissipated as the former Leeds midfielder made it clear that he still had plenty to offer, winning three domestic cups in the 2000-2001 season.

You don’t even need to go as far back as that to hear a similar story. Former England goalkeeper Rob Green left Huddersfield Town at the end of last summer after failing to make a single appearance for the Terriers, and ultimately wound up (ironically, for the purposes here) signing for Chelsea. Admittedly he appears to be there as third-choice cover behind Kepa and Willy Caballero, but what a move to make nonetheless. In the case of Terry (a former international team-mate of Green’s) making the move to Old Trafford would seem to make a lot of sense. You could argue that there would be a place in the first team for him, with the Red Devils’ defence proving shaky on more than on occasion already this term.

The familiarity of having a manager who clearly thinks so highly of you would also be tempting, as would the chance of perhaps getting a coaching role under Mourinho once his playing days are definitely nearing their end. One large stumbling block, of course, could be Terry’s past insistence that he would never turn out for another Premier League club, as coming up against Chelsea would be too much for him. Doing that in the shirt of a rival club, then, would appear to make this potential deal a none-starter. Of course he would likely still be given a warm welcome back at the Blues by the majority who choose to remember his contribution to their meteoric rise from midtable mediocrity to Premier League champions, but from a personal perspective it does not appear to be something he would ever be keen on doing. It could be said, then, that the old saying “once a Blue, always a Blue” rings especially true in this instance, despite the obvious appeal of making such a move.

Shaun Marsh is a football tickets broker sales rep for, where they offer premium Arsenal football tickets and other football tickets at the best prices. Their ticket supply does not discriminate based on budget.

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