Alex deal on hold as Cahill edges closer

QPR bid £3m for unsettled Brazilian defender but Chelsea hold out for more

As Gary Cahill's move to Chelsea inched closer yesterday, the departure from Stamford Bridge of another centre-half, Alex, remained on hold.

The Brazilian international has been the subject of a £3 million bid from Queen's Park Rangers but Chelsea insist the 29-year-old is worth more. Indeed, many observers would argue he is of a similar level to Cahill, for whom Chelsea agreed a £7m fee with Bolton Wanderers a fortnight ago.

Cahill is three years younger, but unlike Alex he is out of contract in June. However, while Chelsea feel under no pressure to sell Alex for less than their valuation – it is the player who wants to leave – they are keen to get his salary off the wage bill.

That is believed to be £100,000 a week which, if matched, would make him the highest-paid player at Loftus Road by some distance, eclipsing Joey Barton's £70,000 a week. QPR are reluctant to match both Chelsea's price and Alex's wages, but are anxious to tie the deal up as soon as possible.

Good centre-halves are hard to find and Chelsea are keen to secure Cahill before Tottenham, Manchester United or Liverpool step in, but only on their terms, believed to be £50,000 a week.

Yesterday Andre Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, said: "We're making good, solid progress. Hopefully it can be concluded soon and it should be soon, I hope this week."

However it would be difficult for negotiations to be concluded by 5pm today, the deadline for Cahill to play against Sunderland tomorrow. Cahill may then instead play against Manchester United for Bolton – which ironically may be more beneficial to Chelsea's lingering title prospects than playing at Stamford Bridge.

Josh McEachran will go on loan to Swansea after the weekend games, and Gael Kakuta's loan to Dijon continues to progress (the French club yesterday claimed, prematurely, it was done). But neither Didier Drogba nor Salomon Kalou, said Villas-Boas, would be leaving this transfer window.

"They will return from the Cup of African Nations to this club and hopefully we will hold on to them until the end of the season. That's our intention, and I think their willingness as well," Villas-Boas said.

Another player Villas-Boas insisted would not be leaving, despite reports linking him to Manchester United, was Frank Lampard.

"Frank is a player who is not available at any price," said the manager. Lampard's situation became an issue in September, since when he has lost his position as someone who invariably played all 90 minutes of every match, when fit.

In December, Lampard made it clear he believes he needs to play regularly. He said: "If anyone took that away from me I would probably feel a bit empty."

Lampard has started three of the last four games, scoring twice and Villas-Boas noted: "Frank is the fifth or sixth most-used player at Chelsea so he's involved all the time."

Villas-Boas added: "Frank, with the player he is and the history he represents, wants to be involved all the time but every player is competing for a place. Other players might be better placed in certain games, or in better form."

The next big test will come when the Chelsea team to play Manchester United is named on 5 February.

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003