FRANK LAMPARD says he “never” held talks with John Terry over bringing in his former captain as part of his backroom team at Chelsea.
The 41-year-old took charge at Stamford Bridge last summer after narrowly missing out on leading Derby County to promotion from the Championship during his first year as a manager.
His Rams side lost out to Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, with the victors having JT on the bench as Dean Smith’s No.2.
Despite rumours that Terry would join Lampard’s coaching staff, he opted to bring Jody Morris and Chris Jones back with him from Derby while promoting Joe Edwards from the development set-up.
Now ahead of Terry’s return to West London tonight for the Prem clash between Chelsea and Villa, the Blues boss explained his old team-mate was never in the running for a romantic reunion.
Lampard said: “It was never an option that was spoken about, I think John was very settled at Aston Villa.
“When I took the Derby job he was already on his own path then and they obviously got promoted in the summer.
“John was very comfortable there and working away. I had my team that I worked with here.
“I think we had a good relationship as captain and vice-captain. The minute I stepped into this club John was clearly the next captain in waiting.
“He was almost it already. When Marcel Desailly left he stepped up. I had no problem with that. It allowed me to go about my work and to play the role of vice-captain and to captain the club on quite a few occasions and to some good success at different times.”
He added: “Our relationship was always good.
“There were no layers to it. We were good friends and respected each other as professionals and colleagues. That just remains the same.”
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Both men began their coaching careers at the same time, with Terry now in his second season as assistant at Villa, but Lampard jumped straight in to the managerial hot-seat.
The Chelsea chief said: “I worked here at the academy and was working through my coaching badges and I jumped in and took the option to give it a go.
“Because I felt I was ready, because I felt it was good circumstances around me. I knew it would be tough at Derby because of the financial aspect there, but I felt it was somewhere I felt I could learn quickly and it turned out to be right.
“It was definitely a risk and it will always be a risk, whatever job you take in football because the competition is so high.
“Mel Morris [Derby owner] was very open with me about the financial issues we had at the time and the squad we had to get some money in and change it around.
“But every job will be. John going in at Aston Villa as assistant is a risk of some sort because we all want success and so do owners.
“And whatever route John takes, both of us will be taking risks all the time. And it’s how good we do our job that will be the end factor.”
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Meanwhile, Chelsea are considering pulling out all the stops for the man almost universally known as their greatest ever captain on his return.
They are considering playing a video on the Stamford Bridge big screen ahead of kick-off, documenting Terry’s greatest moments in blue.
Given that JT will have coaching duties, it is doubftul whether they will be able to present him to the adoring crowd.
But he will at the very least be welcomed back over the tannoy.