Premier League champion and Chelsea defender, Gary Cahill, has revealed how close he came to signing for fellow FA Cup finalists, Arsenal, in 2011 before eventually making the move to Stamford Bridge six months later.
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, launched two bids – £6m and £12m – to take Cahill from Bolton in the summer of 2011, but the deal fell through after a fee could not be agreed between the two clubs, as the Gunners eventually turned their attention to signing Per Mertesacker.
With Arsenal no longer in the hunt for the then 25-year-old, Chelsea swooped in to land Cahill for a bargain £7m, where the England international has since won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, and League Cup with the Blues.
As quoted by the Daily Express, the now 31-year-old disclosed how the move broke down, but refused to reveal if he did in fact want to make the move to the North London club.
He said: “It was close. The move broke down on the fee, nothing to do with me.
@SkyKaveh All these players Arsenal “nearly” signed should get together for a photo with all the trophies Arsenal “nearly” won
— Ian Archer (@ianarch123) May 26, 2017
“It never got down to whether or not I wanted to go there, it was between the two clubs. They showed interest, but they couldn’t agree a fee.
“It seemed like it went on forever, there was speculation for about a year and a half. I thought it would never happen. It was not distracting on the pitch, but personally.
“I had a fantastic time at Bolton, but as a player when you hear the big clubs are sniffing, you want to achieve as much as you can.”
Cahill and his Chelsea teammates will face-off against the Gunners on Saturday afternoon for the prestigious FA Cup, and despite having a standout campaign and winning the Premier League this season, Cahill is determined to clinch the coveted Double as he revealed winning never gets boring.
He added: “It becomes more like an addiction. When you get the feeling of winning a trophy, you just want it again and again.
“You realise your career is short and you just want to achieve as much as you can. If you have no goals then what is the point of playing?”