Chelsea lead race for Cahill

Chelsea are ahead in the race to sign Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill, The Telegraph reports.

Cahill has been the long-term target of Tottenham and Spurs were close to securing a deal for the defender in the summer transfer window. The Bolton man is valued at £7m and Chelsea are eager to snap up the England international from under the noses of their London rivals. Cahill is out of contract at the end of the season and is not expected to sign a new deal, so the Trotters will look to cash in before losing Cahill on a free.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas is considering his options over his defence and with Brazilian defender Alex on the transfer list, Chelsea are looking for central defensive replacements. David Luiz’s ability has been questioned in recent weeks and Cahill will bring some stabliity to a madcap defence of recent weeks. Chelsea have already been defeated six times this season and need to beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Monday to keep themselves in the transfer race.

Chelsea have a good relationship with Bolton and Villas-Boas is good friends with Trotters boss Owen Coyle, which could sweeten the deal. Cahill is looking for a move to a bigger side in an attempt to seal his place for Euro 2012 and Chelsea might not be the most attractive prospect. Cahill could not be guaranteed a regular first team role at Stamford Bridge and with Spurs still keen on the 25 year old, the offer of first team football might sway Cahill’s head towards North London.

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