Guus Hiddink will have many suitors if he leaves Chelsea, John Terry says
LONDON -- John Terry believes clubs will be queuing up to employ Guus Hiddink this summer if Chelsea don't make the Dutchman their next permanent manager.
Hiddink returned to Stamford Bridge for a second interim spell in December after Jose Mourinho and the club parted ways and has lost just one of 15 matches in all competitions -- a run that has lifted Chelsea from 15th to 10th in the Premier League table.
Oscar and John Obi Mikel have both publicly voiced their desire to see Hiddink stay on as manager beyond the summer, but Italy coach Antonio Conte is the clear front-runner to be appointed on a three-year contract after positive talks between his representatives and senior Chelsea officials in London last week.
Yet even if he is not the man chosen by owner Roman Abramovich to lead Chelsea next season, Terry believes Hiddink has at least succeeded in raising his own managerial stock after a disastrous spell in charge of the Netherlands national team.
"We've all said [that we'd like him to stay] but the club has made it clear and Guus has made it clear [that he won't get the job] as well," Terry told reporters at the London Football Awards, where he accepted an award for his 'Outstanding Contribution' to London football.
"What he has done is put himself in the shop window -- I bet there are are a million clubs who've seen what he's done here, and who knows? It might be an opportunity for him.
"I'm not sure if he'll stay in a role within the club but I can only speak about Guus before and Guus now, and both times he's been superb."
Terry has missed Chelsea's past four matches with a hamstring problem picked up during a 5-1 Premier League victory over Newcastle last month -- a stretch which included the Blues' 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie at Parc des Princes.
The 35-year-old said he is doing everything he can to return in time for Tuesday's return fixture at Stamford Bridge, but revealed he has not given up hope of featuring in Chelsea's Premier League clash with Stoke City on Saturday.
"That's the target," Terry said of the PSG match. "I may be involved in some capacity at the weekend [against Stoke] but I'm taking it day by day. I had a good positive day outside today but it could flare up tomorrow, so we're taking it slowly at the moment."
Terry expects to leave Chelsea when his contract expires this summer after being informed in January that no extension to his current deal was forthcoming, though the club insist that "channels of dialogue" will remain open with their captain over his future.
Asked if there have been any fresh talks since January, Terry replied: "There's no dialogue at the moment but that's not to say there won't be. Who knows what the future's going to hold for me? I don't know."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.