John Terry has confirmed he snubbed Premier League offers for Aston Villa because facing Chelsea would have been “too much”.
The former England captain signed for Villa on a one-year contract which could see him earn £4m if he can achieve his ambition of taking the club back to the Premier League, according to Sky sources.
The 36-year-old had offers from West Bromwich Albion, Swansea and Bournemouth, but admitted he turned them down out of loyalty to his former club.
“For me it was just the mental side of playing against Chelsea, it was just too much to get over for me,” said Terry.
“I was 22 years at the football club, 22 unbelievable years, I’m very proud of that but this is a new chapter in my life, my career. I wish Chelsea well next season and will be watching out but my thoughts are 100 per cent here.”
Terry confirmed there is no coaching role involved in his contract with Villa, but was reluctant to indicate whether he would continue his playing career at Villa Park should they get back to the top flight – where he would meet Chelsea.
“If that’s the ideal situation and in one year’s time we’re sitting here with Aston Villa back in the Premier League then I’ve done my job and everyone else has done theirs,” he added. “We can cross that bridge hopefully when we come to it.”