Terry worth at least £50m

Jose Mourinho believes John Terry is worth a world record transfer fee of at least £50-million, although he stressed that the Chelsea captain was not for sale at any price.

Mourinho described Terry as the world’s best central defender and feels his value exceeds the record £47,2-million that Real Madrid paid for Zinédine Zidane in 2001.

Terry cost Chelsea nothing, having come through the youth system, and Mourinho said this week that he would like similar gems from the club’s academy in future.

The Chelsea manager admitted it was hard for even his club to buy all the players they want because sometimes no amount of money can persuade top teams to sell. That, he said, heightened the need to develop and keep talent like Terry.

‘I think it’s better to produce quality than to produce numbers,” said Mourinho. ‘If John Terry is the best central defender in the world — and, for me, he is — he would be worth a minimum of £50-million in the market, although he is not for sale.
If every 10 years we produce a John Terry, the work of the academy is done.”

Mourinho pointed out that improving a team of Chelsea’s quality requires getting the best players, and hinted at frustration in the transfer market. ‘Where are the best players in the world? At the best clubs in the world, and the best clubs in the world don’t want to sell,” he said.

‘So you have to produce. We know it takes time, but my contract is for five years and I hope in five years the Chelsea production line is better.”

Terry and the German-born Robert Huth are the only two notable players to have come through Chelsea’s academy in recent years. This summer the club will participate in a reality television series, Football Icon, which will culminate in one

16- or 17-year-old getting a professional contract at the academy.

Of more immediate concern to Mourinho is the future of Scott Parker, who is wanted by Everton and other clubs. The manager said he was keen to keep the midfielder, but will not do so against the player’s wishes.

‘He wants to play more and I was saying to him that he is a great player but, at the moment, [Claude] Makelele looks unbeatable,” Mourinho said of the difficulty Parker faces getting a regular game. ‘If he is ready to wait it’s fantastic for Chelsea because he’s a fantastic boy and a very good player.

‘If he’s not ready to wait, and he just wants to play, we have to think about it. We have to think about a loan, think about selling him, but he’s a very good player. I want to keep him, but we understand players.”

Mourinho said Milan and Internazionale would not be able to extend the loans of Hernán Crespo and Juan Sebastián Veron respectively. ‘The time of Chelsea making life easy for other clubs is finished,” he said. ‘If somebody wants a very good Chelsea player, they have to pay, the same way we have to pay everybody else.” —

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