AVB: Cahill not the only target

Following Alex’s decision to submit a transfer request earlier this

month, Villas-Boas is hoping to bring in a new centre-half in

January to compensate for the Brazilian’s expected departure. The

Chelsea boss confirmed his interest in Cahill last week, while

Bolton revealed that the two clubs had engaged in dialogue

regarding a possible deal. Cahill is out of contract at the end of

the season and the Trotters are ready to accept a fee in January

rather than risk losing the England international for nothing.

Villas-Boas is keen to wrap up the signing of a new defender and

doubts the Blues will seek to improve other areas of the squad when

the transfer window reopens. “Regarding what we are trying to do in

central defence, we are trying to close a deal [for Gary Cahill]

but I don’t think we will do much more than that, maybe one more

player,” Villas-Boas told the club’s official website. “Central

defence is our number one priority and we will try to solve it as

soon as possible. We had initial talks with Bolton but that doesn’t

mean he is our only target.” Meanwhile, Villas-Boas offered an

update on the fitness of Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel, who

missed the Boxing Day draw with Fulham after picking up injuries in

last week’s stalemate with Tottenham Hotspur. He added: “Branislav

Ivanovic will be back sooner than Mikel. “We are looking at the

Portsmouth game for Ivanovic and it is not impossible for Mikel

either but it might be a bit too soon.”