Gary Cahill’s dream move to Chelsea ‘never in doubt’
Gary Cahill today insisted he was never going to turn down the chance to join Chelsea after finally completing his £7million move from Bolton.
Cahill put the finishing touches to a reported five-and-a-half-year contract this afternoon, having spent more than a fortnight wrangling over personal terms that threatened to scupper the deal.
But the England defender, 26, suggested he had no intention of walking away from the protracted negotiations between his representatives and Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay.
"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," he told the Blues' official website, www.chelseafc.com.
"Opportunities like this, you can't turn down."
Cahill reportedly settled on wages of £80,000-per-week after meeting Gourlay on Friday, £20,000 less than the player was said to have demanded during initial talks.
He then travelled to London to undergo a medical and watched his new club's 1-0 Barclays 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 much-needed solidity, something for which they were long renowned.
Speaking about Cahill's impending arrival on Saturday evening, Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas said: "He has good technical abilities which is important in the way we want to play and to implement our philosophy.
"Competition will be tight for him but we brought him in to become better as a team."
Despite being part of a Bolton defence among the worst in the top flight this season, Cahill has performed well alongside Blues captain John Terry at international level, at which he has earned seven caps.
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.
Cahill told Wanderers' official website, www.bwfc.co.uk: "This is the right move for me at the right time and I would like to thank everyone at Bolton because I've had a great four years at the football club.
"My spell with Wanderers has enabled me to break into the England squad, and I would particularly like to thank the fans for their support along the way."
Villas-Boas has previously said he was looking to sign one more player in the transfer market, probably a striker, although he has since suggested Cahill may be the only arrival.
The same cannot be said about departures, with the club willing to sell wantaway defender Alex - QPR having already seen a bid rejected.
Two of Chelsea's youngsters could complete loan moves today, with Josh McEachran and Patrick van Aanholt using Twitter to confirm they were heading to Swansea and Vitesse Arnhem, respectively.
Fellow 18-year-old Romelu Lukaku has also expressed an interest in going out on loan next season.
The striker, who has only played seven times for Chelsea since arriving from Anderlecht in August, must stay where he is for now as FIFA rules forbid players representing three clubs in a single campaign.
Lukaku told Belga news agency: "If my situation at Chelsea does not evolve between now and the end of the season, it may be better to be loaned out for a season."
Lukaku looks less and less likely to dislodge Fernando Torres while Didier Drogba is at the African Nations Cup, with the Spaniard beginning to find his form.
Although he has not scored in almost three months, assistant coach Steve Holland told Chelsea TV: "He is doing extra at the end of every session during the week.
"His finishing is looking very good in training - the ball is flying in."
Team-mate Oriol Romeu has claimed Torres' recent performances have proven his critics wrong.
"People used to say that if he doesn't score then he is not playing good, but that is not true," Romeu said of the £50million man, who has 11 assists this season.
"He is playing good and he helped us to get the goals."