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Aston Villa and Arsenal target Gary Cahill told he can leave Chelsea

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has been told by Blues manager Maurizio Sarri that he can leave the club.

The 32-year-old joined Chelsea in 2012 from Bolton Wanderers and made over 285 appearances for the club in all competitions.

The two time Premier League winner has struggled for regular games this season, and has dropped down the pecking order at the club under Sarri.

He has made only one substitute appearance in the Premier League, and has managed only 21 minutes of football in the league.

Cahill is in his last year of his contract, and the Chelsea boss has told him to find a new club.

“It is not my decision, but it is up to him and the club,” said Sarri about Cahill.

“He is in the last year of the contract, he has to decide for a new contract here or another club.

“For the over 30 [players] the club usually offers only one year of contract. If he has an offer of three years, he can of course choose something [else at a different club]. It doesn’t depend if I am sentimental or not.”

Championship club Aston Villa are heavily linked with a move for Cahill. However, according to The Daily Mirror, Villa have been joined by Arsenal in the race to sign the England international.

With Arsenal now joining the race, the task of landing Cahill has become difficult for Dean Smith.

The Gunners have limited options at centre-back, especially with Rob Holding recently picking up an injury.

Arsenal can use Cahill’s experience to help them get through to end of the season. And this could spell bad news for Villa, as Cahill may well want to stay in the Premier League if he is provided an option.