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Thursday 8 December 2016

Pato 'happy' with move as Cahill heads for exit

Cahill fears he might miss out on the Euros this summer if he is still not playing regularly: Getty Images
Cahill fears he might miss out on the Euros this summer if he is still not playing regularly: Getty Images

England centre back Gary Cahill is so frustrated by a lack of first-team football at Chelsea that he wants to leave the club in an attempt to safeguard his international place at the European Championship in the summer.

The England vice captain has played more than 170 games for the Premier League champions but has made only 12 league appearances this season as Kurt Zouma and John Terry have become the preferred starters.

Cahill fears he might miss out on the Euros this summer if he is still not playing regularly, a source close to the player said.

While it could be too late to make the move before the current transfer window closes on Monday, Cahill is resigned to leaving the champions to ensure regular top-flight football.

The highly regarded defender, who cost Chelsea around £7million when he joined from Bolton Wanderers in January 2012, says he may be at the "crossroads of his career".

The 30-year-old made 10 starts at the beginning of the season before Jose Mourinho was sacked after 16 league games. He has played only twice since Guus Hiddink took temporary charge on December 19 - and one of those was in the FA Cup against third-tier Scunthorpe United.

The source said Cahill - who was appointed England vice-captain in September 2014 - was genuinely concerned about his chances of playing for his country in the European Championships in France if he is not playing regularly for his club.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Pato says he is "so happy" to be joining Chelsea after the Brazilian forward arrived in London ahead of his loan move to the Premier League club.

While Chelsea are yet to comment on Pato's proposed switch from Corinthians to Stamford Bridge, the former AC Milan forward described Chelsea "as my new home".

Pato's arrival in the capital coincided with Chelsea announcing that midfielder Ramires had ended his five-and-a-half-year stint with the club after joining Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

"I am so happy - Chelsea is my new home," Pato said. "Thanks Chelsea for the support and thanks for my fans and my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers."

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