There will be no "fairytale ending" for John Terry at Chelsea, after the former England international revealed he would leave the club at the end of this season.
Terry's contract runs out in the summer, and having held talks with Chelsea over a new deal, it has become clear the English Premier League champions are keen to move on. Terry revealed he had been told, just prior to the Premier League game against Arsenal last weekend, Chelsea would not take up the option to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge for another year, thus calling time on a glittering 18-year career at the West London club.
"It's not going to be a fairytale ending, I'm not going to retire at Chelsea," Terry, who won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, a Champions League and Europa League title each with the club, was quoted as saying by the Guardian after Chelsea's comfortable 5-1 win over MK Dons in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
"I was in last week before the Arsenal game and it's not going to be extended."
There is still a slight chance, though, that Terry might indeed remain at Chelsea beyond this season, with that dependant on the new manager who comes in the summer.
"They said that, when the new manager comes in, things might change but it's a 'no' at the minute," Terry added. "I needed to know now, like I have done every January and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done. Unfortunately it was a 'no'.
"I'm going to be playing out my career elsewhere, which it took me a couple of days to get over. But, like I say, I knew before the Arsenal game and my performance isn't going to change -- the way I train, what I give for the club. I want to give everything and finish on a high, on 100% good terms with the club."
His Chelsea career might be at an end, but the 35-year-old insisted he will not play for another club in the Premier League. "I couldn't do that to the Chelsea fans," the Daily Mirror quoted the club skipper. "I couldn't play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure.
"I don't know where and I leave that to the people in charge. It certainly won't be in the Premier League. My agent made the call like we do very January. He got told over the phone and I called to set up a meeting the following day. The club immediately set that up which was great of them to do that. I wanted to hear it face to face.
"They told me. Unfortunately it's not going to be. I feel was though I'm in great nick, I'm playing great and I've got a couple of years to go. It'll just be elsewhere."
Chelsea, in a statement late on Sunday, paid tribute to Terry's services for the club, while leaving the door slightly ajar over a possible new deal.
"John requested a meeting with the club the week before last and, in that meeting, he asked about the possibility of an extension to his existing contract," a spokesman said. "John was advised that, while no new deal was currently on the table, that situation could change in the coming months.
"The club has the utmost respect for John and everything he has helped us achieve to date. He is a fantastic servant to Chelsea and a superb captain. As such, the club will keep the channels of dialogue open."
The MLS looks like an obvious move for Terry next summer, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the centre-back moves to another club in Europe either.