LATEST: Dronfield’s soccer superstar signs for Chelsea

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Chelsea today confirmed they had completed the protracted signing of Dronfield-born Gary Cahill from Bolton.

The England defender, 26, became manager Andre Villas-Boas’ first January recruit.

Cahill’s capture, for a fee understood to be around £7million, followed a fortnight of wrangling over the player’s personal terms.

The parties reportedly settled on wages of £80,000-per-week on Friday, £20,000 less than Cahill was said to be demanding.

The former Sheffield United player then travelled to London to undergo a medical and watched his new club’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Sunderland on Saturday.

Chelsea were once again far from convincing at the back and supporters will be hoping Cahill can provide the much-needed solidity for which they were long renowned.

The player said: “Chelsea is a massive club, 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.”

Despite being part of a Bolton defence among the worst in the Premier League this season, Cahill has performed well alongside Chelsea captain John Terry at international level.

There were no shortage of admirers for the defender, with Arsenal seeing a bid rejected last summer and Tottenham also going close to landing him.

But Chelsea were the only serious January transfer window bidders, with Bolton opting to cash in on a player in the final six months of his contract.

A fee was agreed at the end of last month but negotiations with the player immediately hit a snag when Villas-Boas revealed club and player were “miles apart” in terms of Cahill’s salary.

Reports suggested that gap was £30,000, with Chelsea determined not to be held to ransom as they seek to slash their overall wage budget in the era of Financial Fair Play.

Villas-Boas last week refused to criticise Cahill or his representatives for the delay, saying: “It’s part of negotiation.”

The Chelsea boss has previously said he is looking to sign one more player in the transfer market, probably a striker, although he has since suggested Cahill may be the only arrival.

Speaking about Cahill’s impending arrival on Saturday evening, Villas-Boas said: “He has good technical abilities which is important in the way we want to play and to implement our philosophy.

“Our passing philosophy in building from the back. He has speed of anticipation, is an English international of course.

“Competition will be tight for him but we brought him in to become better as a team.”

Cahill factfile

1985: Born December 19 in Sheffield. Grew up in Dronfield.

2000: Joins Aston Villa academy.

2004: Signs professionally for Villa and is sent on loan to Burnley.

2005: Wins Burnley’s Player of the Year award.

September - Makes Villa debut in 8-3 Carling Cup win at Wycombe.

2006: April - Makes Premier League debut, coming off the bench as Villa lose 5-0 at Arsenal.

2007: March - After becoming a regular in the Villa team, makes England Under-21 debut in a 3-3 draw with Italy, the first match to be played at the new Wembley.

September - Joins Sheffield United on loan after falling out of favour at Villa.

2008: January - Joins Bolton in £5million move.

2009: June - Called into England squad but does not play.

August - Signs new three-year deal with Bolton.

2010: February - Suffers a potentially life-threatening blood clot. Undergoes surgery to remove a rib, but is back in action a little over a month later.

September 3 - Makes England debut, coming on as a substitute in a 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

2011: September - Scores on first competitive start for England, a 3-0 win also against Bulgaria.

2012: January 16 - Completes move to Chelsea for a fee believed to be around £7million.