John Terry Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

LONDON - Aston Villa are emerging as a serious option for former Chelsea and England captain John Terry as he seeks to extend his playing career.

Villa boss Steve Bruce wants to add experience, leadership and physical presence to his squad for the new Championship season.

Centre back Terry could supply all three if Bruce can lure him into the second tier rather than head for Premier League Bournemouth.

Terry, 36, said at the end of the season that he would prefer to continue playing but is also determined to acquire coaching qualifications and has ambitions to manage.

Released by Chelsea after 22 years, he is available for free but his basic £50 000-a-week Stamford Bridge salary is near the top of Villa’s pay scale.

Bruce and Terry were recently seen playing golf in Portugal with Bruce’s son Alex and Terry’s brother Paul.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has told Cesc Fabregas he wants him to stay. Fabregas wants more regular football but, facing Champions League as well as domestic games, Conte has informed Fabregas there is still a role for him.