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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terry rejects City

'Mr. Chelsea' breaks silence; pledges future to London club

LONDON (AP) John Terry pledged to remain with Chelsea on Sunday, insisting he was "totally committed" to the Premier League club and had never contemplated accepting a lucrative offer from Manchester City.

The 28-year-old defender said he has received assurances from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that the club's "ambition remains as high as ever" despite the Russian being reluctant to return to the days of big spending following his 2003 takeover.

Speculation has mounted for weeks that the England captain might leave the club he has been at since joining the youth team at 14, fueled in part by Terry's decision to stay silent until now.

"I want to clear this up once and for all. I am totally committed to Chelsea and always have been," Terry said in a statement. "Chelsea have also made it clear to me consistently that there was never any intention to accept any kind of offer."

The bid of reportedly £30 million ($49 million) for Terry followed an approach last season from City, which is seen as having greater financial resources than its Premier League rival since it was bought by an Abu Dhabi group last year.

"When you are linked with any club, or with a manager (Mark Hughes) who I have huge respect for, it will always make headlines. But me leaving Chelsea was never a possibility," Terry said.

"I know there has been comment that I should have made a statement earlier. However, throughout this period there have been numerous discussions between myself, the owner and the Chelsea board and we all agreed that the timing of any statement would suit everyone involved in those talks, not any outside influences or agendas.

"What is clear to me following those discussions is that Chelsea's ambition remains as high as ever. This has been further proved by the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. I am certain that he will take this club on to the next level."

Terry has been assured that the team will be in a position to build on its F.A. Cup triumph in May and challenge for its first Premier League title since 2006.

"Another important factor was knowing that Chelsea would be securing key current players for the long term," Terry said.

"The strengthening of the squad around this core is crucial to pushing us onto greater success.

"I am as committed as ever to helping drive Chelsea forward and I will be proud to lead the team for as long as I can."

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