John Terry has left his role as Aston Villa’s assistant boss, the club have announced.
The 40-year-old former England and Chelsea skipper signed for Villa in the summer of 2017, taking on the captaincy and going on to play 32 times for the midlands outfit in the season that followed.
He then returned as assistant head coach when Dean Smith took charge at Villa Park in October 2018.
Terry told Villa’s official website: “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to have spent these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.
“I want to be as respectful to the manager and everyone at Aston Villa as I can and, having given my future serious consideration over the summer, I genuinely don’t feel it is fair to move into a new season without being certain of seeing that through.
“My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.
“It has always been my ambition to move into football management and, providing the right opportunity presents itself, I feel ready to take up such a challenge.”
Terry said he “will forever be indebted to the gaffer (Smith) for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career at such a wonderful club”, adding: “I have loved every minute of it and learnt so much.
“I can’t thank Dean enough for the support and guidance he has provided me with and I’m sure he will continue to lead the club from strength to strength.”
During the former centre-back’s time coaching at Villa, the club secured promotion to the Premier League in 2019, followed by top-flight finishes of 17th and then 11th last term.
Smith said: “I’m disappointed to lose John as part of my coaching staff but fully understand and respect his decision.
“John has played a huge role in the success the club has enjoyed over the last few years and has been very supportive of myself throughout that period.
“I have no doubts he will go on to be a first-class manager in his own right and wish him well for the future.”
Terry, holder of 78 England caps, had the final games of his playing career with Villa after making 717 appearances for Chelsea and winning 15 major trophies with the club.