John Terry could be allowed to miss games against Chelsea as part of a new contract if Aston Villa are promoted to the Premier League.
Villa face Fulham in the Championship play-off final on Saturday, with Terry in line for a possible £2million promotion bonus.
The centre-half will also have the option of extending his contract for another season in the top flight.
But Terry’s reluctancy to face Chelsea was evident when he dropped down a division after leaving the club last summer.
The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian say that Villa would be ‘prepared’ to allow Terry to miss games against his former club if he extends his deal.
Villa boss Steve Bruce spoke of his desire to keep the 37-year-old at the club earlier this week, stating: “I genuinely hope he triggers it. All those phone calls to him last summer, he hasn’t been disappointed with it. From the training ground, to the stadium, to the support, it has all the makings of a big club.
“He has been one of the great defenders of our country. He is a great leader of men, which we don’t produce many of any more. In a quiet way, he is not a ranter and a raver, he is not one who puts heads through doors. He hasn’t exceeded expectations, I just knew what he would give.
“I’m sure he will give it a good go if we get promoted and enjoy the challenge of it. We’ll not pick him against Chelsea if that’s he wants.”