Finally, we can draw the whole pursuit (saga) around John Terry to a close.
The morning brought reports which suggested that a deal for Terry (plus moves for KoloToure and Joleon Lescott) would be concluded by the end of August, but this afternoon finally brought clarification from Terry that he would remain at Chelsea:
"I am totally committed to Chelsea and always have been," said Terry. "Chelsea have also made it clear to me consistently that there was never any intention to accept any kind of offer. When you are linked with any club, or with a manager [Mark Hughes] who I have huge respect for, it will always make headlines, but me leaving Chelsea was never a possibility.Terry would clearly have strengthened an area of the side that does not reinforcing, and the drive and determination he possesses is an asset Hughes dearly craves in players, yet there was always something uncomfortable about the idea of Terry arriving at the club.
"I know there has been comment that I should have made a statement earlier. However, throughout this period there have been numerous discussions between myself, the owner and the Chelsea board and we all agreed that the timing of any statement would suit everyone involved in those talks, not any outside influences or agendas. What is clear to me following those discussions is that Chelsea's ambition remains as high as ever."
As big an asset as he could have been, he strikes as a fairly unpalatable character, and arguably, his best (or better at least) days are beginning to be behind him.
A move for either Toure or Lescott now seems likely, and both players would strengthen the defence, and would come in to the club with something to prove - an asset always worth having in a player.
The downside to Terry remaining at Chelsea of course is it still leaves us waiting to land the real big name the club hierachy sorely wants. Having been rebuffed by Kaka, Eto'o and now Terry - all world renowned players, it does mean that whilst being tempted, the upper echelon of players in the game will still be reticent about joining until we can break through and persuade that first real profile player of world stature to take the plunge.