Gary Cahill gets Chelsea squad number

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England defender Gary Cahill had joined Chelsea from Premier League rival Bolton.

The 26-year-old Cahill watched from the stands as Chelsea beat Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday and Bolton manager Owen Coyle said Monday that a deal was close to completion.

“The clubs agreed a number of weeks ago,” Coyle said. “The player, his representative and Chelsea have agreed and I think he sailed through the medical as we all would expect.

“Between today and tomorrow morning, it is just a matter of the contracts being exchanged between the relevant parties to conclude the deal. As far as I am concerned, Gary is joining Chelsea.”

If the move goes through, Cahill is likely to line up alongside England captain John Terry in the Blues’ central defense.

With Cahill available on a free transfer when his Bolton contract set to expire at the end of the season, the fee is widely reported to be just 7 million pounds ($10.7 million). He will wear number 24.

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.

Ream has played seven times for the United States.


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