Former Liverpool defender and now pundit, Phil Thompson, has revealed that John Terry could have joined Liverpool in 2003, but the move fell through after the arrival of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea.
The Chelsea legend who is considered as the club’s greatest captain ever came through the youth system and was an integral part of the club’s success for several years.
But it has now been revealed that the player was interested in moving to Anfield after he was approached by the late Gerard Houllier in the final game of the 2002/2003 season.
According to Phil Thompson, Chelsea were in a difficult position and were willing to let John Terry and, current Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard go, but the arrival of Russian Billionaire, Roman Abramovich changed the whole situation as Terry signed a new contract for the club.
Thompson said on the Paddy Power’s podcast, From The Horse’s Mouth:
This was just before Roman Abramovich came in. We’d heard Chelsea were in dire straits, and they weren’t going to offer Frank Lampard or John Terry a contract.Advertisement
‘After the game, as Chelsea were doing a lap of honour, Gerard Houllier said to me that Terry was a bit of a player. I agreed, adding I didn’t think they’d offered him a contract.
‘So Houllier went and shook John Terry’s hand and asked “how would you like to play for Liverpool?” and John said: “I’d love to, Mr Houllier.”Advertisement
‘After, we sent one of our coaches in to the players’ lounge and asked John for his agent’s phone number. John said: “I’ll do more than that, here’s my personal telephone number, ask him to give us a call.”
‘And a couple of weeks later, Abramovich took over, and his first dealings were signing Terry and Lampard to big contracts – so we were that far away from getting him.’
John Terry went on to win 17 major honours during his 19-year spell at Chelsea, including five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and a Champions League.
He left the club in 2017 and spent one season in the Championship with Aston Villa before retiring and becoming the club’s assistant manager.