John Terry has left his role as assistant manager of Aston Villa.
The Chelsea legend has decided to step down this summer as he attempts to move into management during the 2021-22 season.
Terry, who worked under boss Dean Smith at Villa and had not returned to the club for the last week of pre-season training and was missing from the two friendly games against Walsall and Stoke City.
He joined the backroom staff in October 2018 after helping the club to a fourth-place finish in the 2017-18 season.
Terry told the club’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 has impressed at Villa since moving into coaching,his defensive shape work in training has been particularly well-received, with only six Premier League teams conceding fewer goals than Villa last season.
He has been linked with a series of managerial roles in recent months. Since retiring and moving into coaching at Villa, he has been tentatively linked with vacancies including Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion.
Terry has long harboured ambitions to step up into a managerial role and has always explained how his time at Villa was a stepping stone for times ahead.
In May, he described eventually managing Chelsea as his “end goal” in an interview, having made 717 appearances for the London club during his playing career, winning 17 trophies.