Aston Villa will allow John Terry to decide whether he plays against Chelsea if the club gain promotion to the Premier League, says manager Steve Bruce, who also wants to trigger the 12-month option in the defender's contract.
The former England captain chose to join Villa over several Premier League suitors last summer, in part because of his reluctance to face Chelsea, where he played for 19 seasons. And Bruce said that he would not pick Terry against his old club if Villa win promotion back to the top flight.
"We'll not pick him against Chelsea if that's he wants," said Bruce, whose Villa side face Fulham in the playoff final on Saturday. "All those phone calls to him last summer, he hasn't been disappointed with it. From the training ground, to the stadium, to the support, it has all the makings of a big club.
"He has been one of the great defenders of our country. He is a great leader of men, which we don't produce many of any more. In a quiet way, he is not a ranter and a raver, he is not one who puts heads through doors. He hasn't exceeded expectations, I just knew what he would give.