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Chelsea complete signing of Bolton's Gary Cahill

London: Chelsea strengthened its bid for silverware this season by completing the signing of England central defender Gary Cahill from Premier League rival Bolton on Monday.

The 26-year-old Cahill, who passed a medical on Saturday before watching from the stands as the Blues beat Sunderland 1-0, reportedly cost 7 million pounds ($10.7 million).

The fee was lower than would normally be expected for an England international because Cahill would have been able to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season when his Bolton contract expired.

"Chelsea is a massive club," Cahill said. "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."

 Chelsea complete signing of Boltons Gary Cahill

After long-drawn negotiations, Gary Cahill finally signed for Chelsea. AP

In the months ahead, Chelsea is looking to at least hold on to fourth place in the Premier League — which is the final Champions League qualifying spot. Along with a potential title bid, Cahill's arrival should also tighten the defense in the Blues' FA Cup and Champions League campaigns.

Chelsea captain John Terry has faced some criticism for his performances at the back this season, while fellow defender Alex looks set to join Queens Park Rangers. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers and the three clubs in the relegation zone have conceded more league goals at home this season than Chelsea.

The fifth England international at the club, Cahill is likely to line up alongside national skipper John Terry. Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Daniel Sturridge are the other England players.

Cahill started his career with Aston Villa and spent time on loan with Burnley before making his Premier League debut in April 2006. He failed to win a regular first-team place with Villa and joined Bolton for 5 million pounds in January 2008.

He made his England debut in September 2010 and has scored once in seven appearances.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle hopes to sign United States defender Tim Ream from Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, filling Cahill's place in Bolton's squad.

"He is a player that we would love to bring to the football club and hopefully in the next few days that can come to fruition," Coyle said.

The 24-year-old Ream has played seven times for the United States.

Bolton is next-to-last and fighting against relegation.

AP

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2012 01:10:56 IST

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