Cahill, 32, has been told he can leave Chelsea in January and Manchester United are keen on the England star.

Express Sport understands Jose Mourinho is prepared to push hard to sign his former player when the transfer window opens in the New Year.

United are desperate for defensive additions, while they are also mulling over the sale of Eric Bailly.

Yet the arrival of Cahill is far from guaranteed as rivals for the defender emerge.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are hoping to ease a sudden injury crisis by swooping for the player.

Mateo Musacchio, Mattia Caldara, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura are all injured, while Alessio Romagnoli has also been sidelined.

Cahill’s contract expires at the end of the season and Milan reckon they can get a bargain by swooping for him in January.

Milan currently sit fifth in Serie A, a staggering 13 pints behind league leaders Juventus but – crucially – just one point off fourth place.

Returning to the Champions League is the minimum requirement for manager Gennaro Gattuso, who has faced calls to be sacked in recent weeks.

There was a suggestion Arsene Wenger was set to replace the manager but Milan seem settled for now.

Cahill arriving in Italy would certainly give the player a fresh start after a rocky patch at Chelsea.

He has played just six games under new manager Maurizio Sarri, who appears happy to see the back of the ex-Bolton ace.

As for Manchester United, they also have Toby Alderweireld and Diego Godin on their radar, with showdown talks expected next week to finalise their January transfer targets.

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