Coyle to play Cahill despite delay in £7m Chelsea move
Owen Coyle has vowed to select Gary Cahill for Bolton's Premier League trip to Everton tonight, despite the ongoing uncertainty over the England defender's proposed £7m move to Chelsea.
With both clubs agreeing a fee for Cahill last week, it had been anticipated that the former Aston Villa centre-half would complete his transfer to Chelsea this week.
But a failure to agree personal terms has led to the deal being delayed and, with Bolton rooted to the foot of the table, Coyle insists he has no qualms over naming Cahill in his side for the game at Goodison Park.
The Bolton manager said: "Gary is available because he's our player and the only way that will change is if there's agreement between Gary's people and Chelsea. Gary hasn't missed any training sessions and he won't be at any of the negotiations, that's why the representatives are there. His focus has always been on the football and he's preparing for a big game at Everton."
Coyle expects Chelsea to accelerate their attempt to sign Cahill this week following the busy festive fixture list.
He said: "I would imagine there will be further dialogue with where they're at. We've agreed the fee and now it's up to them and the player's representative to get to a place where they're both happy."
Coyle has other problems, with goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen a major doubt with a thigh strain. Everton tend to rouse themselves after Christmas: in the last two seasons they were 14th at this stage, and finished eighth in 2009-10 and seventh in 2010-11.
But driving Everton up the table this year may require even more work from David Moyes. Everton have been unable to replace the talents of Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta, both sold last year, and there are fears that Tim Cahill is not quite as sharp as he once was.
Strikers Jermaine Beckford, Yakubu and James Vaughan have all been sold, with no real investment in replacements.
Tonight's likely return of Landon Donovan, on loan once more from LA Galaxy, ought to help however. (© Daily Telegraph, London)