Jack Grealish has said his goodbyes to John Terry after his departure from Aston Villa was confirmed.
The pair played together at Villa Park before Terry made his return to the club as part of the backroom staff under Dean Smith.
Since Smith took charge in 2018, Villa earned promotion to the Premier League after a short Championship stint, and have since re-established themselves in the top flight, finishing 11th last season.
Terry is said to have been a major influence in stabilising the Villa defence, but the 40-year-old has decided to leave and pursue a career in management elsewhere.
Grealish is clearly a huge fan of the legendary Chelsea defender – who has hinted at following in Frank Lampard’s managerial footsteps to one day return to the Stamford Bridge dugout – and the England international wished him farewell on his Instagram.
The Villa captain said: “What a legend” and posted along with a heart emoji, “All the best JT.”
Terry revealed that his departure was an extremely difficult decision.
“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,’ said Terry.
“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.
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“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 is now being linked with the vacant managerial position at Championship club Swansea following the departure of Steve Cooper.
However, there is no indication Terry will be immediately stepping into a management role.
Upon his exit he credited Dean Smith for helping him develop as a coach and sent his thanks to his old boss and the Villa players, including Grealish.
“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 added.
“Finally, I would also like to thank all the players and staff and wish them all the very best for the season ahead and say a huge thank you to the wonderful Aston Villa fans for their support.”
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