Gary Cahill admits he has been hurt by the accusations of greed that accompanied his protracted move to Chelsea. He also said he would have delayed his move from Bolton until the end of the season if personal gain had been his primary motivation for leaving the Reebok Stadium.
Cahill completed his £7m transfer to Stamford Bridge this week, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract believed to be worth around £80,000 per week. Negotiations between the clubs, however, had been concluded some time before and the declaration at the end of last month by Andre Villas-Boas, his new manager, that Chelsea and the player were "miles apart" when it came to personal terms threw focus on to Cahill's demands.
The centre-back is adamant his concerns went beyond the size of his pay cheque and maintains that with his contract at Bolton due to expire at the end of this season, he could have made more money by moving as a free agent in the next transfer window.
"It was hard because the perception was I was being greedy," said the defender who could make his first appearance for his new club at Norwich this lunchtime. "But what sits well with me is that my friends and family, the clubs, knew the situation, knew what was really going on. And that's all I need.
"If it was about wages I would have waited until the end of the season, and everyone would have known. But that was not the situation. It was the whole package. I am moving a long way from where I live, from where my family lives. I've got a young daughter. It was the whole package. Making sure that I could come, settle straight in, and concentrate fully on playing football. I thought that was important and so did the clubs."
Cahill has swapped Bolton's fight against relegation for Chelsea's title challenge and the chance to appear in the Champions League. His first task will be to establish himself in Villas-Boas' line-up by providing a more reliable alternative to the error-prone David Luiz alongside John Terry. Should he win that battle, he will also strengthen his claims to partner Terry at Euro 2012.
"What I think I can bring to this team is, it would be nice to get on the ball and play, and obviously that little bit of English defender where you just get your head in," he added. "If it doesn't need to be pretty I'll make it not pretty. I'm looking forward to getting started."