SIR ALEX FERGUSON has told pals he would have signed John Terry on a free if he was still Manchester United boss.
Fergie, who tried to buy JT at the start of his Blues career, is convinced he could play at the highest level for another season.
The centre-back has joined Championship side Aston Villa after revealing he could not face joining another Prem side and facing the Blues.
Terry started his Aston Villa career on Wednesday with a rendition of the Ben E. King classic Stand By Me.
Villa boss Steve Bruce is confident Terry can still do a job in his twilight years after seducing him over a golf game in Portugal with a £60,000-a-week deal.
Bruce said: “When you’re the most decorated then you’ll certainly cost a fair few quid. He’s worth every penny.
“I’ve watched him from afar for a long time now and to get him here will be a great coup for the club.
“When you look at what he’s done and what he’s achieved. We’d love to be signing him when he was 26 not 36!
“But physically, he’s in fantastic shape for someone of his age. It’s a statement of intent to get someone of his calibre to come and be the big player we all know he is.”
Terry trained for the first time on Tuesday following his switch to Aston Villa on a one-year contract and will earn himself £2m in bonuses if he manages to get Villa promoted.
And the defender has openly admitted he wants to return to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea manager when he hangs up his boots.
Terry said: “That’s a goal. Me and Lamps [Frank Lampard] have had those conversations.
“Do you dream too big? I don’t think you can ever dream too big.
“I’ve always wanted to be the very best and if that’s in management, then Chelsea’s the one.
“That would be incredible but I realise as well you can’t go in somewhere like Chelsea as your first job.”