Chelsea have identified Tottenham Hotspur centre-half Vlad Chiriches as a long-term replacement for captain John Terry, [football] direct news understands. It remains to be seen whether long-serving skipper Terry departs at the end of the season, with a contract extension yet to be thrashed out and the former England man’s deal just weeks away from expiry. Regardless of the 33-year-old’s presence in the summer, a source close to Stamford Bridge told FDN they have been monitoring the progress of Chiriches throughout the season and believe he could inject some pace into their backline. The Romania international still has four years remaining on his contract at White Hart Lane but could find himself out of favour in north London depending on the identity of head coach Tim Sherwood’s successor, if as expected the Englishman leaves. He joined Spurs from Steaua Bucharest in an 8.5million at the start of the campaign and has made 23 appearances.