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England defender Gary Cahill signs with Chelsea

Updated: January 16, 2012, 08:30


LONDON(AP) England defender Gary Cahill joined Chelsea from Premier League rival Bolton on Monday.

The 26-year-old Cahill, who passed a medical on Saturday before watching from the stands as the Blues beat Sunderland 1-0, reportedly cost 7 million pounds ($10.7 million).

The fee was lower than would normally be expected for an England international because Cahill would have been able to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season when his Bolton contract expired.

"Chelsea is a massive club,'' Cahill said. "It is a club that looks to win trophies season in, season out, and it is a big opportunity for me to be a part of that.

"Opportunities like this you can't turn down.''

While Chelsea is fourth in the Premier League after 21 of 38 matches and occupying the final Champions League qualifying spot, Bolton is next-to-last and fighting against relegation.

The fifth England international at the club, Cahill is likely to line up alongside national team captain John Terry in central defense.

Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Daniel Sturridge are the other England players with the Blues.

Cahill started his career with Aston Villa and spent time on loan with Burnley before making his Premier League debut in April 2006. He failed to win a regular first-team place with Villa and joined Bolton for 5 million pounds in January 2008.

He made his England debut in September 2010 and has scored once in seven appearances.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle hopes to sign United States defender Tim Ream from Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, filling Cahill's place in Bolton's squad.

"He is a player that we would love to bring to the football club and hopefully in the next few days that can come to fruition,'' Coyle said.

The 24-year-old Ream has played seven times for the United States.

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