How close Liverpool came to signing John Terry

John Terry

Before captaining Chelsea to five Premier League titles, John Terry almost made the switch to Liverpool.

Former Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson opened up on the players the Reds missed out on during his spell working with Gerard Houllier at Anfield.

It’s been well-documented that Liverpool were quoted just £4 million for Cristiano Ronaldo before Manchester United barged in and secured a deal for the Portuguese star for £12 million.

Thompson has also revealed that Liverpool came close to signing John Terry in 2003.

Houllier attempted to take advantage of the financial struggles the Blues were dealing with at the time and Terry was eager to make the switch from Stamford Bridge to Anfield but then a certain Russian businessman arrived at Chelsea.

“One of the strangest transfers that nearly happened was John Terry coming to Liverpool,” Thompson said on Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast earlier this year.

“In the final game of the 2002/03 season it was like a play-off to get in the Champions League when we played Chelsea away. They beat us down at Stamford Bridge just before Roman Abramovich came to town, but we’d heard Chelsea were in dire straits financially.

“They weren’t going to offer Frank Lampard a contract, or John Terry.

“After the game Gerard Houllier said to me, ‘He’s (Terry) a bit of a player, isn’t he?’ and I replied ‘he’s a great player John Terry. He’s not the quickest, but he reads the game fantastically well.’

“I also told Gerard that I didn’t believe Chelsea had offered him a contract yet. So, as the Chelsea players were walking around the pitch for the traditional lap of honour, Gerard went to shake John’s hand and asked him, ‘how would you like to play for Liverpool?’

“Terry replied, ‘I’d love to Mr Houllier. I’d love to.’ Gerard told him he’d be in touch and we went into the dressing room. While we were in there and he told me what had happened, I said, ‘Gerard, we’ve got to get his agent’s number and do this quick.’

“So we sent one of our coaches to the players’ lounge to see John and said to him, ‘I believe you had a word with Gerard Houllier, can we have your agents name and phone number please?’ Terry said he’d do better than that and handled him his personal phone number.

“A couple of weeks later that summer Abramovich took over Chelsea and his first dealings were to sign up John Terry and Frank Lampard on big contracts. We were so close to getting him though.”

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