John Terry may be a hero at Chelsea, but before all the Blues’ success he had agreed to join Liverpool, according to Phil Thompson.
The club’s former skipper was a stalwart as he enjoyed over a decade of success at Stamford Bridge.
Roman Abramovich’s millions, which arrived in the summer of 2003, transformed the club and resulted in huge amounts of silverware.
Terry himself won five Premier League titles, a Champions League and four FA Cups.
But prior to the Russian billionaire coming in Chelsea were in a mess financially and looked set to offload Terry and fellow Blues legend Frank Lampard.
They won a vital game at the end of the 2002/03 season against the Reds which ensured a place in next season’s Champions League.
But amid all the uncertainty Terry verbally agreed to move to Anfield when approached by Gerard Houllier and Thompson.
It never materialised though despite numbers being exchanged.
“In the final game of the 2002/03 season, it was a shoot-out between Liverpool and Chelsea for the last Champions League place,” he explained to Paddy Power podcast From The Horse’s Mouth .
“This was just before Roman Abramovich came in. We’d heard Chelsea were in dire straits, and they weren’t going to offer Frank Lampard or John Terry a contract.
“After the game, as Chelsea were doing a lap of honour, Gerard Houllier said to me that Terry was a bit of a player.
“I agreed, adding I didn’t think they’d offered him a contract.
“So Houllier went and shook John Terry’s hand and asked ‘how would you like to play for Liverpool?’ and John said: ‘I’d love to, Mr Houllier.’
“After, we sent one of our coaches into the players’ lounge and asked John for his agent’s phone number.
“John said: ‘I’ll do more than that, here’s my personal telephone number, ask him to give us a call’.
“And a couple of weeks later, Abramovich took over, and his first dealings were signing Terry and Lampard to big contracts – so we were that far away from getting him.”