Summer move 'best option' for '£25m' Arsenal and United target

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Bolton manager Owen Coyle doesn't believe Gary Cahill will leave the club in January, but hasn't ruled out a summer move to Arsenal or Manchester United.

The 24-year-old defender has reportedly been on the radar of the two Premier League giants for some time and could yet move to either club in the close season.

However, despite the Mail on Sunday initially reporting Arsenal will launch a £10 million bid, Coyle has slapped a £25 million price-tag on his prized asset.

Coyle said: “Gary Cahill is a player I want at this football club for a long time to come. If someone comes in with £25 million, any football club would have to look at that."

And, although the former Burnley supremo doesn't expect Cahill to be sold this month, he believes a move in the summer would be the best option - which will no doubt have alerted Arsenal and United.

“I have not had any dialogue with any other club regarding Gary Cahill's situation,” he added.

"He is a top performer, capable of playing for any of the top clubs.

"I have always said I am not one for standing in anyone's way.

"If it is the right thing for the player and the right thing for the football club, that is something as managers we have to look at.

"But I have always said the right time for Gary to move — or any player in that bracket — would be in the summer.”

Arsenal are thought to be frontrunners for Cahill due to their increasingly frequent defensive problems, although they may not be able to wait until the summer after finding themselves in need of reinforcements in January

Arsene Wenger is understood to be keen to bolster his Arsenal backline, and signing a player of Cahill's promise would prove to Gunners fans he is ready to invest heavily in his squad.

Arsenal are expected to add at least one centre-back to their ranks this month after injury to Sebastien Squillaci left them with just two fit recognised centre-backs in Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou.

And the Wenger has now outlined the type of defender he will attempt to bring to Arsenal in order to bolster his squad.

“Ideally it would be better if they were adapted to English football,” said the Arsenal boss. “If you need players now in January then you cannot wait three months before they can play. If the opportunity turns up we will fetch it but, if not, I believe we can cope.

“We always have people in mind and we check them out. We look everywhere. It’s difficult to find [them] at this period of the season but overall I feel at the moment we have so many games that it’s very important just to focus on the next one."

Although Manchester United have more defensive reinforcements than Arsenal, Ferguson is looking to build a squad for the future and is thought to have earmarked Cahill to one day fill the boots of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

United also have talented youngsters Johnny Evans and Chris Smalling on their books, and Cahill would only add to their impressive defensive depth.

A more pressing issue for United, however, is the acquisition on a new goalkeeper with current no.1 Edwin van der Sar set to retire in the summer.

Danish stopper Anders Lindegaard has already signed for the Red Devils but Ferguson is on the lookout for at least one more gloveman during January.

“We haven’t finalised our thoughts on the goalkeeping situation," the United supremo said after the signing of Lindegaard.

“Edwin has massive experience and you can’t buy that, so it’s a difficult one because he has been a great goalkeeper and will be hard to replace.”

Current Manchester United no.2 Tomasz Kuszczak has also been tipped to leave Old Trafford in the summer so the Red Devils are expected to step up their pursuit of goalkeeping reinforcements.

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