John Terry has left his position as an assistant to Aston Villa boss Dean Smith with the aim of becoming a manager in his own right, the Premier League club announced Monday.
Terry, a 40-year-old former Chelsea and England captain, joined Villa ahead of the 2017/18 season and became the skipper of his new side.
One of the outstanding English central defenders of his generation, he played 32 games for the Birmingham club before becoming an assistant to Villa manager Smith.
Terry, speaking to Villa’s website, said: “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to have spent these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.
“I want to be as respectful to the manager and everyone at Aston Villa as I can and, having given my future serious consideration over the summer, I genuinely don’t feel it is fair to move into a new season without being certain of seeing that through.”
He added: “My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.
“It has always been my ambition to move into football management and, providing the right opportunity presents itself, I feel ready to take up such a challenge.”
Terry thanked Smith for “giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career at such a wonderful club”, saying: “I can’t thank Dean enough for the support and guidance he has provided me with and I’m sure he will continue to lead the club from strength to strength.”
Terry’s time at Villa saw the Midlands side get promoted to the Premier League in 2019, with the club then finishing 17th in the top flight before ending last season in 11th place.
“I’m disappointed to lose John as part of my coaching staff but fully understand and respect his decision,” said Smith.
“John has played a huge role in the success the club has enjoyed over the last few years and has been very supportive of myself throughout that period.
“I have no doubts he will go on to be a first-class manager in his own right and wish him well for the future.”
Terry, capped 78 times by England, finished his playing career at Villa after making 717 appearances for Chelsea and winning 15 major trophies with the London club.