John Terry will call time on an illustrious 22-year association at Chelsea at the end of the season, but insists he is "eager" to not hang up his boots just yet.

The 36-year-old has been a Blues stalwart, having come through the club's academy and first-team since 1995.

But in a joint statement made with the club, it was revealed that a partnership that has yielded 14 major honours together to date, including four Premier League titles and a Champions League, will soon cease.

"After 22 years, there is so much to say and so many people to thank at this great football club," he told the club's official website.

Advertisement

"From coaches, team-mates and staff to the fans, who have given me so much support down the years, I can't thank you enough. There will be opportunities for me to speak further about this over the coming weeks.

"I will decide on my future in due course, but for now, I am committed to helping the team achieve success this season.

"The club and I have always had a fantastic relationship, which will continue beyond my playing days. We had some really positive talks, but with everything taken into careful consideration, I have decided it's the right time for me to leave.

"I've always been conscious that I depart at the right time, in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club and I. I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch, but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited for me.

"I'm eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge. I will, of course, always be a Blue and am desperate to end my final season as a Chelsea player with more silverware.

'Finally, words cannot describe the love I have for our football club and our amazing Chelsea fans. I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for the unbelievable support you've shown me over the years.

"You mean the world to me and every trophy we've won during my time at the club, we've won together. I will never forget the incredible journey we've been on.

"Thank you so much for everything."

Terry has only made 10 appearances for the Stamford Bridge outfit this season, but was hailed as "an influential and inspirational member of the squad" by Chelsea.

"John Terry and Chelsea Football Club today jointly announce our captain will leave the club at the end of the season," the club's statement read.

"Everybody at Stamford Bridge would like to express our enormous gratitude to John and wish him the very best of luck for the future.

"John has given us more than two decades of dedicated and exceptional service. In that time, he has displayed the utmost pride at wearing the Chelsea shirt, something he has done on 713 occasions, since his debut in 1998, scoring 66 goals.

"He is the club's third highest all-time appearance-maker and has captained Chelsea a record 578 times.

"This season, he has featured less on the field, but remained an influential and inspirational member of the squad, which, under Antonio Conte's guidance, sits top of the Premier League.

"Throughout his career, 'JT' has contributed immensely to us achieving consistent success, unequalled in the club's history. He has won the Champions League, four Premier League titles, the Europa League, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

"His 14 major honours make him our most decorated individual of all time."

Terry has not featured since a 2-0 FA Cup win over Wolves in February, with his last league appearance coming in November.

Other than a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, Terry has never turned out for another side and has racked up over 700 appearances at Chelsea.

He was named PFA Player of the Year in 2005 and collected 78 England caps, before retiring from the international scene.

JOHN TERRY'S CHELSEA HONOURS AND CAREER BY NUMBERS

4x Premier League (2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15)

1x Champions League (2012)

5x FA Cup (2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)

1x Europa League (2013)

3x League Cup (2005, 2007, 2015)

19 - Number of years since he made his Chelsea first-team debut

713 - Number of Chelsea appearances

6 - Number of appearances on loan at Nottingham Forest in 2000

78 - Number of England caps

40 - Number of Premier League goals he has scored for Chelsea

578 - Games as captain of the Blues, a club record

26 - Number on the back of his Chelsea shirt

14 - Number of major titles he has won as Chelsea captain (four Premier Leagues, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League)

17 - Age when he made his senior Chelsea debut as substitute in League Cup game against Aston Villa

6 - Number of times he has been sent off in the Premier League

WHERE WILL TERRY GO NEXT?
China

The current favoured location for ageing stars looking for a new adventure and a colossal pay day. As long-time skipper of the Blues, Terry already has a strong following in Asia and even embarked on his own "Captain China Tour" in 2015.

Two of Terry's ex-managers are currently in charge of Chinese clubs, with Luiz Felipe Scolari at Guangzhou Evergrande and Sven-Goran Eriksson in the second tier with Shenzhen FC. He would join a cabal of former Chelsea men in the country, with Oscar, Ramires, John Obi Mikel, Oscar, Alexandre Pato and Ricardo Carvalho all signed up.

United Arab Emirates

Terry's former Blues team-mate Dan Petrescu is managing in the UAE with Al Nasr and the Romanian has suggested recently he would be keen to make his friend an offer. There is enough money in the league to make it a viable option and a personal relationship with the boss cannot hurt.

Al Nasr are based in Dubai, a destination Terry has been known to favour for holidays, so, despite the relative lack of profile, do not rule it out.

United States

Terry revealed in an interview at the end of 2015 that he could see "maybe there is a time" when he would look to go to play in America, making Major League Soccer a possible destination. Several of his England contemporaries - Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham - crossed the Atlantic to close out their careers and Terry would not want for suitors.

Elsewhere in England

Whether or not Terry will consider a move to another English club at this stage of his career is an open question. His statement did not rule it out, but a strong suspicion remains that he will head for new shores, when he hangs up his blue shirt.

Bournemouth have been touted as the likeliest option, with Eddie Howe on the lookout for defensive reinforcements and Jack Wilshere's loan move showing their ambition to move for big name players. West Ham appear the likeliest London club to throw their hat in the ring, should he wish to stay in the capital.

Portugal

An Instagram post from February appeared to confirm Terry was learning Portuguese. Would one of the country's bigger names - Benfica, Porto or Sporting Lisbon - be tempted to take him on or might he look lower down the table, if a coaching opportunity came into the bargain?

Australia

Terry led Chelsea in a glamour friendly against Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium, which attracted a crowd of some 83,598, in June 2015. There would certainly be plenty of interest in making Terry one of the A-League's marquee players.