What seemed like pure speculation early on due to the connection between Samuel Eto’o and his former manager is turning out to be quite a serious link, as Chelsea are preparing to launch a bid for the Cameroonian striker, hoping Anzhi Makhachkala don’t have much of a choice when it comes to negotiations.
In a decision to cut their wage bill by around 66%, the Russian team is pretty much putting everyone up for sale, including Eto’o, who became the highest paid soccer player in the world when he signed with the team in 2011, doing quite well in the two and something seasons he’s been there since.
According to the Guardian, Chelsea have realized that Wayne Rooney isn’t going to arrive due to Manchester United simply refusing to sell the player, and so have to turn their attention elsewhere. It does seem like the club is trying to avoid lengthy negotiations which means that players in a less obvious situation than Eto’o (Edin Dzeko, for example) are out of the question at the moment.
The main key in this deal won’t be what Anzhi ask for Eto’o, but how much he’s willing to forego in his salary. He’s currently making over €20 million a season, and Anzhi would gladly dump him for free if it means getting rid of his contract. It’s rumored that a £5 million bid should be enough for Chelsea to complete the signing, although if they take a risk and try to lower the price, they might get him for much less.
Eto’o, 32, is a three-time Champions League winner (twice with Barcelona, once with Inter), including in 2010 under Jose Mourinho. He has scored 36 goals in 71 matches for Anzhi, and probably has enough in him to contribute at the highest levels, despite being a bit far off the mainstream media focus for the last couple of years.
With Mourinho and Chelsea not feeling too confident about their striker situation, which includes the disappointing Fernando Torres and Demba Ba along with the up & coming Romelu Lukaku, adding Eto’o and his scoring ability won’t do any harm.