The Star Late Edition

Villa-boas rejects prospects of a Chelsea spending spree


ANDRÉ Villas-boas last night insisted the imminent arrival of Gary Cahill from Bolton would not precede another transfer window splurge by Chelsea as that would be an admission of “incompeten­ce”.

“We are looking to add to the squad, but not to the extent people are talking about,” the Chelsea manager said. “Apart from a central defender, I really don’t know if we will be adding anyone else. You have to bear in mind that these are the players we have set out to win four trophies (with). We would call ourselves incompeten­t by making radical changes just because the market opens.”

Even Cahill’s acquisitio­n is not yet certain – although a fee, believed to be £7m, has been agreed with Bolton – Villas-boas said Chelsea and the defender are “miles apart” when it comes to personal terms. Cahill has been warned Chelsea have lined up other players and Cahill, of course, may have other suitors, notably Tottenham.

He has impressed for England, where he has played along- side John Terry in four of the last five internatio­nals, keeping three clean sheets. His form for Bolton has been less sound this season and it seems clear the 26-year-old has been affected by the transfer speculatio­n.

Villas-boas was unconcerne­d: “I think his technical attributes are immense and his pace is fantastic. You have to understand Bolton are going through a difficult time and you cannot put down to an individual the amount of problems that have arisen in Bolton’s defensive organisati­on.

“Like us, if Bolton go into a streak of wins the level of confidence can increase to make the jump to better performanc­es, collective and individual.”

In other words, “we have better players, so he will play better”. Villas-boas may be right, although the flipside is the spotlight on Chelsea is far greater than on Bolton and any mistakes Cahill makes will be highlighte­d.

Villas-boas added Cahill’s internatio­nal partnershi­p with Terry had been taken into considerat­ion, but was not “the Xfactor” in signing him. Should the pair line up on a weekly basis for Chelsea it will be bene- ficial for Fabio Capello, assuming Terry’s forthcomin­g court case does not remove him from internatio­nal contention.

Villas-boas said he was not anticipati­ng selling any of his players apart from Alex, though “if any club comes in with an interestin­g offer, we’ll have to consider it”.

He added he still hopes Didier Drogba, out of contract in the summer, will sign a new deal.

Carlo Ancelotti’s instalment at Paris Saint-germain may lead to offers for Drogba and Florent Malouda but Villas-boas insisted they “were not for sale”, adding, “it can happen that a manager goes back to a club, but Carlo did not sign anyone from Milan for Chelsea”.

Chelsea are seeking more consistenc­y from their players as the advantages won in good performanc­es against Manchester City and Tottenham have been neutered by lesser ones against Aston Villa, Wigan and Fulham.

After his side drew with Fulham last week, Villas-boas said the title was out of reach but Manchester City were then held at West Brom and lost to Sunderland. ”We need a run of wins,” he said. – The Independen­t

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