Antonio Conte is planning a fitting farewell for John Terry as the Chelsea legend prepares for his Stamford Bridge send-off against Sunderland on Sunday.
Terry will leave Chelsea at the end of this season and his last appearance at Stamford Bridge, in a blue shirt at least, promises to be an emotional experience for the defender.
The 36-year-old has hardly played for Chelsea this season after losing his place, but he started in the league for the first time since September in Monday’s 4-3 win over Watford.
He will lift the 15th major trophy of his career after the Sunderland match as Chelsea play the last game of their Premier League title-winning season before switching their attention to next weekend’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Terry would love his 717th appearance to come from the start rather than the bench and Conte said: “John is a champion and he deserves the best.
“It will be a surprise. It’s important to make the best decision and to find the best solution for him, for his career.
“He’s a legend for this club and in this season he has been very important to win this title.
“For this reason I think I have to take my time and to make the best decision for him.”
This season’s Premier League title was Terry’s fifth with Chelsea and he said following the Watford win that retirement was one of the options he is considering.
But Conte believes he can play on, with Bournemouth and West Ham reported to be interested in his services.