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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Cahill plans summer rest

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill is likely to skip Australia's June friendlies to ensure he is 100% fit for the start of next season.

Cahill, 31, has been troubled by a chronic foot injury this season and has not played a competitive match since the Toffees' 2-1 win over Fulham a month ago.

The ailment also forced him out of Australia's friendly in Germany last month, though the Socceroos still managed to record a memorable 2-1 victory without him.

Cahill's troubles have in part been brought on by a willingness to play at all costs, the Australian disregarding his own fitness to prop up the Toffees through their early struggles and join the Socceroos on their Asian Cup campaign, but as the end of this season nears, Cahill is keen to give his body some well-earned rest.

"I've played seven years (with) no rest in the summer, probably more," Cahill told Australia's The World Game in an interview to be aired on Monday. "I wouldn't change it for the world. I've got a foot problem but I'm buzzing.

"I love football and I love playing for my country, but also I think common sense has to prevail. I missed the Germany game and I'll probably miss the next couple of games because they're friendlies.

"For me, when it's competition and it's something where I'm going to win something or get something out of it, then I'll be back playing, but at the moment my main focal point is the Premier League and obviously doing well for my club."

Cahill's absence may count for little if Australian football officials are unable to keep their friendly schedule from falling apart.

The Socceroos are scheduled to host Serbia on June 7 but it is believed that nation is wavering in its commitment. Reports from New Zealand suggest that the All Whites would be keen to take Serbia's place should the latter opt against the trip down under.

Chile have already withdrawn from a proposed clash at Adelaide Oval on June 3.

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