Cape Town - Interim manager Guus Hiddink has expressed surprise that John Terry went public at the weekend with the news Chelsea would not be renewing his contract and believes the defender could yet remain at Stamford Bridge.
The Premier League champions reacted quickly to Terry's statement, which came after Sunday's 5-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Milton Keynes Dons, by saying their talismanic captain may still be offered the chance to stay on.
"I like John very much, the way he is playing and is committed to the team," Hiddink told reporters on the eve of Wednesday's league trip to Watford.
"It was a bit surprising but he's completely entitled to do so as his contract is expiring at the end of the season.
"There has been no specific decision made yet, we have to wait and see what happens in terms of the transition with a new manager," added Hiddink who is expected to step down at the end of the campaign.
"The door is not shut, dialogue is always possible."
Hiddink, who has yet to suffer defeat in his nine matches in all competitions since taking over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, said Terry was not a normal 35-year-old footballer in terms of fitness.
"The view I have of him is he is very fit," the Dutchman added. "He's not normally what you see from a 35 or 36-year-old player.
"You often feel you get a little bit slower (at that age), you can't accept you're getting into a danger zone for a red card for instance.
"There's none of that with John. I'm convinced, regardless of the situation he's in with the club, he will be very professional and play with all his heart as well," said Hiddink.
The Dutchman also said Brazil playmaker Willian was a fitness doubt for 13th-placed Chelsea's visit to Watford.
Willian, the standout performer in a wretched season for the Londoners, missed training on Monday because of a foot problem.
"Today I think he will be on the pitch and we will see what his reaction is after training," said Hiddink.
Alexandre Pato and Matt Miazga, Chelsea's new signings from Corinthians and New York Red Bulls respectively, are unlikely to feature in the starting line-up against 10th-placed Watford.
Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao, the back-up strikers to first-choice Diego Costa, are again missing through injury.