Arsenal will be allowed to sign Gary Cahill for £10 million as soon as Bolton wrap up a cut price deal for Middlesbrough defender David Wheater, according to the Metro.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has offered £2.5 million for the centre-back, which should be enough to tempt the Championship strugglers to sell.

Wheater’s Middlesbrough contract expires at the end of the season, therefore he will leave the Riverside Stadium on a free transfer if no one buys him this month.

And with Arsenal’s interest in Cahill hotting up, after Gunners manager Arsene Wenger admitted he will sign a centre-half in January, Bolton will have money to spend on a replacement.

And the Reebok Stadium side will make Middlesbrough an offer they cannot refuse in the hope Owen Coyle can do to Wheater’s career what a move to Bolton did to Cahill’s when he signed from Aston Villa.

Arsenal’s search for a new defender has seen them looking all over the world and their main target Per Mertesacker ruled out a move in the current transfer window.

And now Wenger seems to have settled on bringing a proven Barclays Premier League player to the Emirates Stadium, with youngster Cahill at the top of his list.

Other possibles include former Gunner Matthew Upson, Ryan Shawcross and Chris Samba, although the latter looks set for a move to Gerard Houllier managed Aston Villa.

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