x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pay rise not Terry's motivation

John Terry quashes talks of his possible move to Manchester City being a ruse to engineer a pay rise from Chelsea.

John Terry, centre, has said his possible move to Manchester City had never been an attempt to get himself a pay rise at Chelsea.
John Terry, centre, has said his possible move to Manchester City had never been an attempt to get himself a pay rise at Chelsea.

John Terry has quashed talk of his possible move to Manchester City being a ruse to engineer a pay rise from Chelsea. The England captain ended speculation over his future at Stamford Brook earlier this week, confirming his commitment to the London club after Premier League rivals Manchester City had made two bids for the centre-back.

Talks held between the Blues' captain and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich provoked speculation Terry was attempting to negotiate a new contract and a higher wage. He has since moved to put an end to the rumours, insisting he was merely seeking assurances from the Russian owner about his future at the club. "It's never been about a new deal, we've never spoken about a new contact over the past five weeks," Terry said. "It's never been about a new deal for John Terry. I've got three years left on my contract. I've been at Chelsea 14 years now and I aim to finish my career here."

Terry maintains that his focus has never been on his own future, but instead on keeping his team together. With clubs like Manchester City keeping their cheque books ready, holding on to players like England teammate Frank Lampard may become tricky. "I want these kind of players around me and I want these kind of players at Chelsea Football Club," he added. Elsewhere in the Premier League, Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, is losing patience in his attempt to entice striker Darren Bent away from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Black Cats manager has so far been unwilling to pay the price tag the London club put on the forward, but Bruce hopes the seemingly imminent move of England striker Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to White Hart Lane may encourage Spurs to reconsider. "We are still short, a long way off in terms of our valuations at the moment. We will look at it again, but if we can't agree, we will move on," he said. "We are not making headway at the moment and there hasn't been any progress over the weekend."

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson left Asia in the early hours of yesterday confident the new-look Manchester United have the makings of a forward unit for next season. The tour provided the ideal platform to test out new strike partnerships following exits by Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Ferguson took full advantage of the opportunity to size up partnerships between new signing Michael Owen, Federico Macheda, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov. Starting with a different strike partnership in each of the four matches in Malaysia, South Korea and China, he was rewarded with 16 goals with all four forwards getting on the scoresheet.

"I think it gives us very strong options," said Ferguson. zgriffiths@thenational.ae