John Terry has agreed to join Portuguese side Sporting if Pedro Madeira Rodrigues is elected president, the candidate has claimed.
Rodrigues is one of six candidates running for the top job in Saturday’s presidential election and says he has been working on bringing high-profile players and a new coach to the club.
He has already seen two of his top targets slip by after former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio joined Zenit, while Yaya Toure was snapped up by Greek club Olympiacos.
But Rodrigues believes he still has a “great champion” in the bag, as he confirmed talks with ex-Chelsea and England defender John Terry, who is a free agent after leaving Aston Villa at the end of last season.
“I’m very close to presenting players for Sporting already,” Rodrigues told Sporting TV. “If I wanted to, I could present three players today. I just won’t announce them because I can’t go beyond certain limits.
“I’m negotiating by the penny. They are foreigners. A left-back, a striker and a great champion – all players who have no contract.
“I can say one because I’ve been caught up with him. It’s John Terry, a great champion, a player who does not come to win games, but comes to win games in training. I cannot pay him what he’s used to, but I think he’s very close to being our player.
“Unfortunately we lost Marchisio, he would be Sporting’s player if I was president last week. On Monday we lost one to Olympiacos.”
Rodrigues had also been talking about bringing former Chelsea, Leicester City, Juventus and Roma boss Claudio Ranieri to the Portuguese outfit, but has since dropped that pursuit as he believes current boss Jose Peseiro is doing well.
“We took a step back and we will believe, a bit like the other six candidates, that Peseiro may be the solution for now, but I will continue to defend a profile like Ranieri,” he said.
He continued to Lusa: “He won a trophy with the clubs he went through, he was recognised by everyone, he won a championship against all odds and won the award for the best coach in the world, he told me and promised that he was going to be a champion at Sporting. He is the right person.”