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SHOCK CLAIM Liverpool legend reveals John Terry was close to agreeing a deal to move to Anfield

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John Terry expressed an interest in signing for Liverpool in 2003 (Adam Davy/PA Images)

John Terry expressed an interest in signing for Liverpool in 2003 (Adam Davy/PA Images)

John Terry expressed an interest in signing for Liverpool in 2003 (Adam Davy/PA Images)

John Terry spent a large chunk of his playing career in combat with Liverpool, yet it has now emerged that he was ready to agree to a transfer to Anfield.

Terry became Chelsea legend as he won a huge collection of trophies with the west London club, but former Liverpool coach Phil Thompson has revealed the centre-back was ready to move to Merseyside in 2003 after a chat with Reds boss Gerard Houllier.

"In the final game of the 2002/03 season, it was a shoot-out between Liverpool and Chelsea for the last Champions League place," Houllier's former assistant Thompson told Paddy Power's From The Horse's Mouth podcast.

"This was just before Roman Abramovich came in (and bought Chelsea). 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.

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Terry won the FA Cup five times at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

Terry won the FA Cup five times at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Terry won the FA Cup five times at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

"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'.

"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."

Thompson also suggested Steven Gerrard is emerging as a leading contender to take over from Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, as he continues to make a positive impression as Rangers boss.

Anfield hero Gerrard has admitted his dream is to return to Liverpool as manager and after Graeme Souness proved his managerial credentials at Rangers before taking over at Liverpool, Thompson believes Gerrard could follow a similar path.

"If it was good enough for Graeme Souness to get his first managerial job at Rangers and then get Liverpool off the back of it, I would think Steven's got a fair chance of succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool," stated Thompson.

"Rangers were in a better position when Graeme went in there than what they were under Stevie. And when Klopp signed that new contract, the next day, lo and behold, Stevie Gerrard signed a new contract with Rangers to the same year.

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: Getty Images

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: Getty Images

Getty Images

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: Getty Images

"The thing with Stevie is he took on a very difficult job at Rangers. It wasn't easy going in there with the success of Celtic.

"I feared for him, because I thought they were so far behind that it would take five to seven years before you could actually change things. But Celtic got a bit sloppy, and Stevie has recruited very well.

"So he's obviously the one that comes to mind when it comes to next Liverpool manager. But he also had two years as a youth coach at Liverpool, watched how Jurgen worked, how he coached and trained, so he had a good insight into how Klopp does thing – which will help him going forward, because you'd not like to deviate too much if you do come down here.

"Before he started at Ibrox, Stevie asked me to have a word with his assistant, Tom Culshaw, who was going up to Rangers with him – and I told him 'trust in Stevie, never ever let him down, never talk behind his back, not even if you think he won't find out, you have to give him 100% trust, and he will give you that back'.

"I do fear for Liverpool's time under Klopp. I know we've still got a few more years of the guy. I've never thought about managers, they've come and gone, and I've never really worried. We'll always be there or thereabouts.

"I worry for us if and when Jurgen does go – because he's given us something extra special. If Liverpool carry on, as I hope, winning trophies, it will be difficult to follow Klopp.

Phil Thompson was talking on Paddy Power’s podcast, From The Horse’s Mouth. Listen HERE

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