John Terry has confirmed that he will not represent another Premier League club when the time comes to leave Chelsea.
The reigning champions have already seen two legendary figures move to direct rivals over the past two summer transfer windows, with Frank Lampard spending a season at Manchester City before heading to MLS and former first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech sold to Arsenal in a deal worth around £10m ($15.5m).
While Lampard's effectiveness had notably waned and Cech had lost his starting spot to Thibaut Courtois, Terry remains integral to Chelsea's fortunes and back in March was rewarded for his dominant form with a new 12-month contract.
Despite having restored his status as one of English football's elite central defenders since Jose Mourinho returned for a second stint at Stamford Bridge, the 34 year old claims he could cope with being dropped in future.
"Every summer I work more or less every day to give myself the best chance. If it comes to that point where I am left out of the side I know it's not through any fault of not trying. To look at myself in the mirror and my family, that is all I do in my career," he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"I could handle being out of the team. No doubt, people like me and Steven [Gerrard] want to play, of course. That is our natural instinct. When you play your whole career, it's hard. Petr Cech was a model professional last year and that is why he got the move he wanted, because of how well he reacted around the place."
Mourinho currently appears to be planning for the future of his defence with reports from the Daily Mail suggesting Chelsea are ready to make a renewed bid of £26m to sign John Stones after seeing an initial £20m offer dismissed out of hand by Everton last week.
Stones, in addition to the versatile Kurt Zouma, has been identified as Terry's long-term replacement in West London, and while Terry refused to rule out the possibility of prolonging his career elsewhere, he did reassure supporters that if he does move on it will not be to any team currently in the same division.
He added: "I have seen other players go the other way. I certainly would go down the Petr route and continue giving everything to the squad. If I then felt Chelsea were going to release me or thought I had nothing else to give, but I thought I could, then of course I would still want to continue to play. But that would not be in the Premier League."
Terry is currently with the rest of his teammates in the US as Chelsea compete alongside the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona at the 2015 International Champions Cup tournament.
He featured as a half-time substitute during the surprise 4-2 defeat to the New York Red Bulls but played the full 90 minutes as Mourinho's side secured a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Paris Saint-Germain in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 25 July.
Chelsea face Barcelona in Washington DC next before contesting the Community Shield against FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley on 2 August.