The concept of John Terry moving to Spartak Moscow was truly bizarre from the moment it was first reported.
After parting ways with Aston Villa at the end of last season, the 37-year-old was offered big money in return for relocating to the Russian capital.
To be specific, Spartak were willing to pay him an eye-watering tax-free salary of €3 million (£2.6 million).
Not bad for a footballer closer to his 40th birthday than his 30th.
However, the deal ultimately collapsed once Terry consulted with his wife and kids.
"After considerable thought, I have decided to decline a contract offer from Spartak Moscow," he explained in a statement.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank Spartak and wish them and their supporters well for the rest of the season.
"They are an ambitious club and I have been very impressed with their professionalism.
"But after assessing this move with my family, we’ve decided this is not the right move for ourselves at this time. Good luck Spartak.”
Strange that negotiations got to the stage they did before the Terry family found fault with moving to Russia, though it’s a valid reason nonetheless.
So, after snubbing the 22-time league champions, the former Blues’ search for a new club continues.
Derby has been mooted as a potential destination, namely because of his close ties to their new boss Frank Lampard.
The move would make sense on several fronts; the Rams play in the same tier as Terry’s most recent club and his vast Premier League experience would likely be just as valuable at Pride Park as it was in Birmingham.
Lampard was asked about the prospect of setting up a reunion with his old mate, and while it seems to be something he considered, the speculation has been off the mark.
LAMPARD ANSWERS TO THE RUMOURS
He said, per Goal: “The bookies don’t always get it right, do they?
“John is a fantastic leader, a fantastic player and he’s got a lot to offer.
“But we have options in defence, so there’s no more movement from us.
"John will be great wherever he goes, wherever he chooses or whoever chooses him.”
Well, that gives Terry a pretty emphatic answer if he truly was angling for a second spell in the Championship.
That said, Derby did boost their total number of defenders to nine over the summer, ensuring Lampard has plenty of options to build a solid foundation in his first season.
Perhaps other second-tier clubs who less stacked at the back would be more willing to take a punt on Terry.
Where will Terry end up playing next? Or will he retire? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
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