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Arsenal given a 10-day deadline by Bolton Wanderers to sign Gary Cahill

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsenal have been given a 10-day deadline by Bolton Wanderers to sign Gary Cahill, has learned.

Bolton have become increasingly frustrated by Arsenal's failure to make a formal move for the England international, even though the two clubs have held discussions about Cahill making the move down south.

As revealed by last month, Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis had a private lunch with his Wanderers counterpart, chairman Phil Gartside, in Doncaster last month during the two-day Premier League AGM.

Arsenal are reluctant to meet the £17 million release clause in the defender's contract and are confident they can agree a deal for around £15m given Bolton's financial problems, with the club revealing debts of £93m in their last set of financial accounts.

It has been reported that the Londoners have offered youngsters such as Carlos Vela and Henri Lansbury as part of the deal but Bolton would prefer a straight cash agreement.

"Bolton want the deal done as soon as possible so they have plenty of time to make preparations for the new season without Cahill and formulate their transfer strategy," a source close to the negotiations told

"Basically, they want it all sorted out by the end of next week and if it isn't, then they might close the door on any deal until the next window."

Cahill has told friends that he wants to move to Arsenal and test himself in the Champions League, and is now playing a waiting game while the two clubs agree a transfer. Tottenham have already pulled out of the running, although Bolton are hopeful Manchester City and Chelsea will follow up enquires with formal offers to hike up the price.

Arsenal are unlikely to want to engage in a bidding war with the two big spenders, who will be able to offer packages that are more financially attractive.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle went on the record earlier this week in a bid to flush out interest from the Premier League big guns, saying the lack of a "concrete bid" was disruptive. 

"It certainly doesn’t help the kid or me as a manager," said Coyle. "We have a top class player in our ranks. It’s frustrating for him and for everyone. I don’t want to lose him but if there was the right thing there for him, the sooner it happens the better for Gary and everyone.”

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