Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg will stay on at Villa Park until the end of the season despite signing a pre-contract agreement with Italian Serie A side Juventus.

And last night the Swede insisted he was committed to leaving Villa on a high by attempting to guide them into Europe as another defender looked set to part company with the fifth-placed Premier League outfit last night.

Twenty-two-year-old centre-half Gary Cahill was understood to be at Bolton Wanderers yesterday discussing his future with manager Gary Megson after Villa finally accepted a bid for the England Under-21 player thought to be in the region of £5 million.

Mellberg, meanwhile, announced last night that he would join the Italian giants in Turin on July 1 but only after seeing out his remaining time with Villa.

It had been suggested that Mellberg might quit Villa this week for Italy after his new club offered Villa £500,000 in a bid to speed up his move to ease their current injury crisis.

But now the Villa Park favourite will stay in the Barclays Premier League until the end of this season and he said he was looking forward to helping secure European football for Martin O'Neill's men.

The Stockholm-born defender said: "I have 14 cup finals to play - 14 games left for Villa and I'm looking forward to them.

"I felt it was time for a new challenge but my total focus for now is my performances for Villa.

"It would be great to have a good last season and wouldn't it be fantastic to take Villa into Europe? That's my aim and my total focus particularly with the Premier League being as strong as ever. "

Villa's temporary right-back continued: "It is great to have everything sorted out. Everyone knows now what is happening. Now it's total commitment for Villa on the pitch.

"There are big games coming up and hopefully we can finish on a high."

The 30-year-old has signed a three-year deal with Juve and added: "I am very happy with the agreement. It will be an important experience, at a prestigious club and in one of the most important leagues in the world."

Mellberg has been capped 77 times by his country and hopes returning to his preferred cental defensive role next season could guarantee even more international appearances.

He told Juventus' official website, "Now I must end the season in the best possible way with Aston Villa but I really can't wait to join Juventus and give my best for the black and white shirt."

Juve coach Claudio Ranieri is expecting great things from Mellberg, who spent three years with Spanish outfit Racing Santander before making the switch to Villa Park.

"Mellberg is a player I know very well and I was already following him when I was [manager] at Chelsea," Ranieri said.

"He has an imposing physique but is very quick. Mellberg will give his contribution to Juventus in terms of international experience and quality."

Meanwhile, Gary Megson was last night hoping to secure the signature of Cahill despite a last-gasp move from Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish. Sunderland manager Roy Keane also threw his hat into the ring late last night when he too matched Villa's £5.5 million valuation.

McLeish told reporters yesterday that he had not ruled out a last-ditch attempt to persuade Cahill to join former team-mate Liam Ridgewell at St Andrew's.

Trotters boss Megson, however, has money to spend following the £15 million sale of Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea and would make Cahill his fourth signing of the January transfer window.

Cahill, who has spent part of this season out on loan with Sheffield United, has made his views known that he is eager for regular first-team football.

Speculation was mounting last night that Villa are interested in Major League Soccer's Brad Guznan who is a goalkeeper with Chivas.

Speculation linking Villa with the £2 million-rated keeper have circulated in recent days as well as talk that the club are interested in Tottenham Hotspur's right-sided player Wayne Routledge.