John Terry signs for Aston Villa on one-year deal
Former England and Chelsea captain John Terry has signed a one-year deal with Championship club Aston Villa.
The 36-year-old defender ended a 22-year association with the Blues on Friday, making him a free agent on Saturday.
And he has now elected to drop down a division and move to the midlands to join Steve Bruce's Villans.
Centre-back Terry made over 700 appearances for Chelsea, captaining them on almost 600 occasions, and won 15 major trophies including five Premier League titles.
"I am delighted to join Aston Villa," Terry told Villa's official website.
"It's a club I have admired from afar for many years - there are fantastic facilities at Bodymoor Heath, Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums in the country and there's a good group of players here, with an experienced and successful manager in Steve Bruce.
"I can't wait to get started now and look to help the squad achieve something special this season."
Terry, a 78-cap England international, was expected to garner plenty of interest once it was clear he wished to continue playing after his deal with Chelsea was up.
West Brom and Swansea both expressed a desire to keep him in the top flight while Harry Redknapp was keen for him to join Villa's cross-city rivals Birmingham in the Championship.
"We made him a good offer but it was always difficult," Redknapp said on Sky Sports News HQ on Monday.
"It was John's decision and I respect whatever decision he made. I'm hoping to bring in maybe five or six players and spread my budget to build a team rather than putting all my eggs in one basket with one outstanding player."
Swans boss Paul Clement, who coached Terry at Chelsea, believes he was unwilling to stay in the top flight because it would have meant featuring for one of his old club's rivals.
"My understanding of the situation is that John, with his relationship with Chelsea, was going to find it difficult to be a direct competitor of them in the Premier League," Clement told talkSPORT.
"John's someone I know very well and have a lot of respect for. I have a good relationship with him and I understood. Having known him since he was 16 and worked with him as well when I was assistant at Chelsea, I understood very well his situation.
"I think he's made a sensible choice - Aston Villa are a very good club, they've got a good manager, nice infrastructure.
"He's getting that balance between wanting to continue to play at a good level but at the same time not wanting to pull at his heartstrings because it was difficult for him leaving Chelsea."
Terry brought the curtain down on his Blues career in controversial fashion in May having planned to be substituted in the 26th minute, a nod to his shirt number, against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
It is understood the Football Association is continuing to look into the matter after concern was raised when three punters who wagered a bet on Terry's specifically-timed substitution were paid out by a bookmaker.