Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle has warned Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur they will have to conclude a move for Gary Cahill early next month or risk missing out on the in demand 25-year-old.
Cahill was widely tipped to leave the Reebok Stadium during the summer when Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were alleged to have made approaches to Bolton. When a move never materialised the England international was left in slight limbo and Coyle is eager not to see a repeat amid speculation Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is plotting a move for the player.
Chelsea and Tottenham have once again been credited with an interest although Arsenal have intimated they are no longer in the running for the former Aston Villa youngster. Cahill is out of contract in the summer and has made his desire to play in the Champions League clear and Bolton would risk losing their star centre-half on a free transfer should they reject the advances of their Premier League counterparts next month.
"If something comes in then I think for Gary and for everybody it is going to be better sooner rather than later." Coyle told The Sun.
"We all know the further you get into the window, the more it is fraught with danger."
Coyle and Bolton are currently embroiled in a relegation battle following a hugely disappointing start to the campaign, and while Cahill is likely to leave the club, his manager is not taking the 25-year-old for granted.
He added: "You could have a gut feeling and get it totally wrong but whatever happens in January we will deal with it accordingly.
"Until then we have to make sure Gary's playing at the top of his game.
"And if he is then he'll show everybody, as we already know, how good he is.
"I would imagine then, if he is performing out of his skin, there will be a clamour of clubs for him because of the situation."
Arsene Wenger recently confirmed Arsenal had endeavoured to sign the England international in the summer. The Frenchman suggested the Gunners were thwarted by Bolton Wanderers' lofty price tag.
"Cahill is good enough to play Champions League, but he is not someone I would be interested in," The Arsenal manager said.
"We were in the market in the summer, but at that time they [Bolton] were greedy.
"I have got five central defenders - [Laurent] Koscielny, [Sebastien] Squillaci, [Per] Mertesacker, [Thomas] Vermaelen and [Johan] Djourou. Of this five, four are international players."
Chelsea's recent defensive woes have heightened rumours purporting to a potential overture for Bolton star, and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has also expressed an interest.