Antonio Conte has insisted John Terry will remain Chelsea captain, with his influence felt both on and off the pitch.
Speaking to reporters as Blues manager for the first time, the Italian was quizzed on Terry’s role in his first-team squad following two successive seasons of speculation over the defender’s future.
Terry went on to pen another new one-year contract in late May, six weeks after an agreement with Conte was announced by the club, and the former Italy head coach underlined the captain’s importance to him.
“John Terry signed a contract as a player, not as a different role,” he told reporters.
“He’s the captain of this team and a great player, with great personality and great charisma. I want to speak with him because he knows the club and the right spirit for the club.
“For me he is an important player. All the players know that I see the pitch during training to choose my starting eleven.
“John Terry is captain, when he plays and when he doesn’t play. He is the captain always.”
Conte also confirmed his involvement in Terry being handed another contract extension, which was reported at the time to involve a heavy reduction in salary.
He added: “John Terry is an important player for me, for the fans, for the club. We made all the decisions together, I’m very pleased he signed a new deal with Chelsea.
“I spoke with him on different occasions, the most important thing was when John signed he was very happy.”