John Terry will be wanted around the world if he leaves Chelsea - Zola
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says he would love to bring John Terry to Al Arabi, but believes they will face stiff competition from clubs around the world to sign the 35-year-old.
Terry told reporters after last month's 5-1 Chelsea victory over MK Dons that he expects to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, having been informed that Chelsea are likely to opt against offering him the contract extension he wants.
Chelsea subsequently issued a statement insisting that "channels of dialogue" will remain open with Terry over his future, but after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United the 35-year-old confirmed that there has been no recent contact between the two parties to resolve the situation.
Zola played alongside Terry for the first four years of the Englishman's career at Stamford Bridge and admits his current team, Al Arabi, will be in the running to sign the 35-year-old, who remains adamant that he will pursue a future outside the Premier League if he leaves Chelsea.
"When we talk about John Terry, we are talking about a big player, big name and I believe a player of this stature is not of interest only for the team, but also for the whole league," Zola said at a news conference in Doha.
"I believe the Qatari league is a league that wants to grow bigger so I believe there might be interest not only from Al-Arabi but there might be interest from all the Qatari league."
Terry has established himself as the most successful captain in Chelsea's history over 18 years as a professional at Stamford Bridge and will be honoured for his 'outstanding contribution' at next month's London Football Awards.
Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole are all playing out the final years of their careers in MLS, while Chinese Super League clubs are spending vast sums to attract international stars to the competition, and Zola believes his former teammate will have no shortage of options on the market.
"He's not only been linked to Qatar, he's been linked also to the MLS, to China," Zola added. "It's more difficult for any league if there is a league like China which has invested so much money. It will be more competition for Qatar, for leagues in Europe."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.