Bolton Wanderers centre-back Gary Cahill could be sold in the January transfer window as Bolton look to reduced their debt of £93 million.
The in-demand England defender is wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, and Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has admitted for the first time that their prized asset could be sold.
Chairman Gartside said defender Cahill may be sold in the “transfer window” if the club receives an offer in excess of £15 million for the England national team player.
“If a Champions League team knocks on our door in January, that’s the best time to sell an asset because Champions League teams will pay the money,” Gartside said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The 24-year-ols has impressed for Bolton since his arrival and scored 5 goals in 29 appearances last season to help steer Owen Coyle's side to Premier League safety.
The defender was tipped to be included in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad until an arm injury ruled him out for much of the season. He has since won his first England cap, against Bulgaria in September.
Manchester United were said to be considering a £15 million bid for Cahill over the summer, because of Rio Ferdinand's poor injury form, but the England captain has since regained full fitness and with the impressive form of Chris Smalling, a move appears to be unlikely.
However, United do have the money to spend and could sign Cahill as a long term replacement for Rio Ferdinand and to stop him signing for one of their rivals. Cahill already plays up north, so the Red Devils know they are in pole position as the player wouldn't have to move home and leave his family.
It is unsure whether Cahill would be prepared to sit on the bench at Old Trafford.
This could let in Liverpool and Arsenal. Liverpool are interested in signing a centre-back as Roy Hodgson looks to reinvent the Anfield club with his own twist.
Martin Skrtel and Sotirios Kyrgiakos have yet to convince Roy Hodgson that they are good enough for them play at the heart of his defence long term and Daniel Agger is sidelined with another injury, and with rumours of ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez preparing a bid for Agger, his future could lay away from Anfield.
Arsenal on the other hand are interested in Cahill and see him as a long term acquisition, opposed to Sebastian Squilacci who was signed recently from Sevilla. Laurent Koscielny has been sent off twice this season already and there are rumours circulating that Thomas Vermaelen's season could be over. This leaves Arsene Wenger desperately short on centre-backs and with Cahill available in January, he might be persuaded to part with some money.
Both Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger will be encouraged with Cahill's recent comments which indicated he is looking for a move.
Cahill said to The Star on Sunday: "I am an ambitious lad who wants to play at the top of my game. Who knows what the future holds?"
Any potential transfer is more appealing as he is not cup-tied for the Champions League and with Bolton Chairman Phil Gartside admitting he will be sold if an offer comes in, it seems inevitable that Cahill will be plying his trade for one of the Premier League titans come January.