Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has said he will not enter into a public conversation about the possible signing of John Terry, even though they are making a determined effort to bring him to the club.
It was reported on Wednesday that Terry, 36, is close to signing a £60,000-a-week deal to move to the midlands with Villa.
PA Sport sources say that talks have taken place between Villa and the Terry camp with a view to the move becoming a reality.
Chinese businessman Xia was asked on social media about the prospect of signing the former England captain, who is leaving Chelsea on a free transfer this summer.
Quoted Jose M. 'I am not going to talk about a player who still belongs to another club' as JT's contract with CFC expires until 1/7. https://t.co/Nvya3H9oI2
- Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) June 21, 2017
City rivals and fellow Championship side Birmingham have also been keen on the veteran centre-back, along with several Premier League clubs.
Xia was asked by a Twitter user whether he had any news on Terry, and in response he invoked Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho's policy of not commenting on players contracted to other clubs.
He replied: "Quoted Jose M. 'I am not going to talk about a player who still belongs to another club' as JT's contract with CFC expires until 1/7.''
Terry has returned to training at Chelsea following a short summer break, as he assesses his options for the coming season.
He has been building up fitness following a recent break in Portugal, during which he posted pictures of himself on a golf course with a group that included Villa manager Steve Bruce.
According to The Sun, Terry and Bruce discussed the possibility of a transfer while on the course.