Sunday, 28 November 2010

Arsenal linked with Cahill but he's not Wenger's number one target

The Mail on Sunday have linked us with a £10 million deal to bring Bolton defender Gary Cahill to the Grove in January.

Whilst the 24-year-old is on Arsene Wenger's radar, I've heard he's not the manager's number one target.

The Bolton man could be an option in January, given the Wenger's concern over Thomas Vermaelen's injury.

Cahill is 24-years-old and his contract will be up at the end of next season, so could be available for a relatively inexpensive fee.

He's won his first England cap but wasn't included in Fabio Capello's squad for the recent friendly with France.

As the MoS point out Bolton have debts of around £90 million, so they could be open for offers for one of their most prized assets.

However Cahill is not Wenger's number one target. He would prefer if Arsenal could sign Phil Jagielka from Everton.

Jagielka has impressed Wenger and although he might be more expensive that Cahill, the manager thinks his experience of the Premier League counts in his favour.

Jagielka's current contract with Everton runs until June 2014. There has been talk of an extension being offered, but so far the player has yet to put pen to paper.

Wenger offered Everton £8 million in the summer for Jagielka but it was rejected.

I'm told that Ivan Gazidis will be asked by Wenger to make an improved offer for Jagielka in January.

Either Cahill or Jagielka would come to Arsenal able to play in European competition, which Wenger sees as a necessity given Arsenal's continuted run in four competitions.

The manager and his scouts have already had a planning meeting to discuss potential targets, with chief scout Steve Rowley having  travelled to Germany in the past few months to watch on player in particular.

The final list of target is still to be drawn up and will be finalised at a meeting next month.

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