Chelsea complete Cahill signing
Chelsea today confirmed they had completed the protracted signing of Gary Cahill from Bolton. The England defender, 26, became manager Andre Villas-Boas' first January recruit. Cahill's capture, believed to be around £7m, followed a fortnight of wrangling over the player's personal terms.
The parties reportedly settled on wages of £80,000-per-week on Friday, £20,000 less than Cahill was said to be demanding. The player then travelled to London to undergo a medical and watched his new club's 1-0 Premier League win over Sunderland on Saturday.
Chelsea were once again far from convincing at the back and supporters will be hoping Cahill can provide the much-needed solidity for which they were long renowned. The player told his new club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "Chelsea is a massive club, it is a club that looks to win trophies season in, season out and it is a big opportunity for me to be a part of that. Opportunities like this, you can't turn down."
Despite being part of a Bolton defence among the worst in the Premier League this season, Cahill has performed well alongside Chelsea captain John Terry at international level. There were no shortage of admirers for the defender, with Arsenal seeing a bid rejected last summer and Tottenham also going close to landing him. But Chelsea were the only serious January transfer window bidders, with Bolton opting to cash in on a player in the final six months of his contract.
A fee was agreed at the end of last month but negotiations with the player immediately hit a snag when Villas-Boas revealed club and player were "miles apart" in terms of Cahill's salary. Reports suggested that gap was £30,000, with Chelsea determined not to be held to ransom as they seek to slash their overall wage budget in the era of Financial Fair Play.
Villas-Boas last week refused to criticise Cahill or his representatives for the delay, saying: "It's part of negotiation." The Chelsea boss has previously said he is looking to sign one more player in the transfer market, probably a striker, although he has since suggested Cahill may be the only arrival.