Premier League champions Chelsea have joined Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the race to sign young Bolton defender Gary Cahill, according to the Mirror.

The centre half has been in sensational form for the Trotters this season, culminating in international recognition.

And this form has alerted the likes of the traditional top four in the Barclays Premier League as well as Tottenham.

And with Wanderers having announced debts of almost £100 million recently, they are desperate to cash in on their £15 million rated player.

And, with Chelsea’s defence being made to look ordinary by Sunderland and Birmingham in recent weeks without absent captain John Terry, Carlo Ancelotti is looking to improve their back four.

Sunderland demolished Chelsea at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago as an unfit Alex was paired with right-back Branislav Ivanovic before the same pairing also failed to keep out Lee Bowyer and Andy Carroll in the following weeks.

Despite Arsene Wenger insisting he does not need to bring in any more players in January, there is still concerns about Sebastian Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny, who have taken their time to settle into the Gunners’ squad.

As well as Arsenal's boss, Sir Alex Ferguson is another manager that could make a u-turn on his promise not to buy in January.

The Manchester United boss watched his second choice defence of Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans get demolished by West Ham at Upton Park on Tuesday and could be in for a radical reshape of his Old Trafford defence.

However, Cahill will not want to play second fiddle to Rio Ferdinand, who he is looking to displace in the England team, and Nemanja Vidic.

And finally, with interest in Daniel Agger hotting up, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson could add a central defender to his Anfield transfer shortlist.

However, finances could hold Liverpool back from signing the 24-year-old because, aside from the world class player he has been promised, Hodgson will have to sell in order to buy and Agger will raise just a fraction of Cahill’s asking price.

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