Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wants John Terry to postpone retirement and play on after his final game for the club on Sunday.
The former England captain will leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of season after winning 17 trophies in 19 stellar years in the first team.
Terry has hinted he could call time on his career but a number of Premier League clubs have been linked with the 36-year-old, including Swansea City, whose top-flight survival was secured when Hull City lost 4-0 to Crystal Palace last week.
Conte has compared his captain to one-club greats in Italy, including Francesco Totti of Roma and former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini, and has backed him to keep playing.
"John has all the possibility to continue his career," he told a news conference on Friday. "We all know that he is preferring to play regularly and, for this reason, he's decided to leave.
"He's strong. In the moment I called on him to play, he showed this. When you arrive at this point of your career, it's very important to feel your body, to feel your mind, to feel if you still have the desire and will to fight and arrive every day working very hard.
"If you feel this, then it's right to continue your career. I think John has all these characteristics.
"It's very difficult to find a lot of players with this kind of career. John is a legend, a legend for this club. For the appearances, for the years he's played for this club, and above all for his victories with this club.
"It's not easy to compare, but, for sure, Totti played for Roma all his career. The same as [Juventus great Alessandro] Del Piero, Maldini at Milan... I think John is a champion and he deserves the best."
Conte says it will be a "surprise" whether Terry starts against Sunderland on Sunday in what would be his final match for Chelsea and spoke highly of the performances of Gary Cahill, who has worn the armband in his stead.
However, he insists it is too early to say if Cahill will become captain on a permanent basis from next season.
"For sure, Gary has good prospects of being captain, but now it's important to finish the season," Conte said. "To start to think about next season is very dangerous because we have different targets still to reach."
|Canada rugby sevens wing Zaruba lands NFL contract|
|Mane, Ings back in full Liverpool training|
|Mahrez would do great things at Roma – Gonalons|
|Sensational Peaty smashes his own world record|
|Australia´s ´ton of talent´ leaves Hayne eyeing Fiji World Cup call|
|Real Madrid want a top-class French striker, Lyon president claims|
|McMahon turns back on Australia for Japan move|
|Bernat has surgery on ankle ligament tear|
|Higuain wants Dybala at Juventus but ´can´t point a gun at his head´|
|Twins, Royals making moves to try catch Indians|
|I want more trophies – Ronaldo confirms Real Madrid stay|
|Outgoing Storm half-back Cronk yet to decide on future|
|Bjorn lauds ´special´ Spieth|
|Aulas: PSG signing Neymar for record fee is risky|
|We see life differently - Rafter responds to Tomic|
|Spieth favourite for US PGA Championship, says Watson|
|Cavs´ Jefferson sympathetic to Irving´s trade mindset|
|LeBron excited by Rose´s expected Cavs move|
|Klopp unfazed by Mourinho, Man United|
|Tyson: McGregor is going to get killed fighting Mayweather|
|WATCH: Mourinho crashes Lingard interview|
|Cavaliers promote Altman to general manager|
|Gasol agrees three-year deal with Spurs|
|Lukaku aiming to emulate Ronaldo at Man United|
|Broncos GM John Elway reaches agreement on new five-year deal|
|Duminy released from South Africa Test squad|
|Man City arrivals have brought trophy hunger back - Kompany|
|Great Britain do the double, Hosszu grasps home advantage|
|Better than Suarez & Van Persie: Opta stat proves West Ham have a bargain in Hernandez|
|Wolf signs on with promoted Stuttgart|
|Striker Hernandez completes £16m West Ham switch|
|Djokovic likely to miss US Open - doctor|
|Lukaku reveals how Pogba talked him into Man Utd move|
|Simon and Paire progress in Hamburg|
|Sevastova saunters through in Bastad, Zheng makes Nanchang exit|
|Morata: It was my destiny to play for Conte|
|´All good!´ - Keita and Demme make up after Leipzig spat|
|Bernardeschi joins Juventus for €40m|
|Wolfsburg out of race for AC Milan´s Suso|
|Cassano delivers third U-turn in baffling week to confirm retirement|
|Bailly to miss Man Utd´s Super Cup clash with Real Madrid|
|Riedewald reunited with De Boer at Crystal Palace|
|Jordan Spieth talks to his balls... and they listen!|
|Neymar ´would be welcome´ at Real Madrid, jokes Casemiro|
|Four-midable Froome, Matthews grasps his chance - the Tour de France Opta stats|
|Hamilton building a legacy as one of F1´s greatest - Wolff|
|James & Ancelotti back Morata for Chelsea success|
|I don´t think Pique was joking – Alba confident Neymar will stay|
|Maldini hails Bonucci capture and backs Milan for Champions League challenge|
|Player backs Spieth to complete Grand Slam after Open victory|
|RB Leipzig´s Demme escapes serious injury after reported Keita bust-up|
|Inter 1 Lyon 0: United target Perisic impresses as Jovetic nets winner|
|Leaving so soon? Cassano the latest in football´s long list of short stays|
|You´ll miss me! – Mbappe bids farewell to new Manchester City signing Mendy|
|I always wanted Manchester City, says new signing Mendy|
|Cassano quits Verona as saga takes another twist|
|FIR step in after Zebre pull out of Pro12|
|Manchester City spree continues with Mendy arrival|
|Dortmund rule out selling Sokratis to Juventus|
|Birkdale brilliance at The Open: Spieth´s Opta stats stack up|
|Milan coach Montella hopes Scudetto can become ´a concrete goal´|
|Martial is a defender´s nightmare, says Lingard|
|Pedro suffered facial fractures, Conte confirms|
|Rahul ruled out of first Test with viral fever|
|Bale gunning for more Real Madrid success as United speculation ends|
|Ancelotti rules out Vidal sale, Sanches departure ´a possibility´|
|Third Renault test for Kubica in Hungary|
|Van Dijk left out of Southampton´s pre-season trip|
|Froome can remain Tour force - Brailsford|
|Bernardeschi attends Juventus medical ahead of €40m switch|