The first name to come up once Anzhi Makhachkala announced that everyone is for sale has been Samuel Eto’o, immediately linked with Chelsea. According to reports in Italy, the Cameroonian striker would like that to happen as well.
Eto’o, the highest paid soccer player in the world in terms of salary (more than €20 million a season) has been doing quite well for Anzhi since joining them in 2011, scoring 36 goals in 71 matches, including an impressive nine last season as the team made its way through the Europa League competition.
But it’s not only about Chelsea showing an interest in Eto’o, as they try to find an answer to their so-so striker situation. Eto’o, who played at Inter under Jose Mourinho, winning the Champions League together, would love to play for Mourinho once more.
According to Football-Italia, it seems to be the main thing on his mind: In the world there is only one Mourinho. I have worked with many Coaches in my career, but no one has his character. We won a lot at Inter together, so I’d love to work with him again. Chelsea are a good team, but only when we have all the proposals on the table will my agent and I identify my next destination.
Individually, Eto’o only season with Mourinho was one of his worst in terms of scoring, as Inter deployed negative tactics all the way towards winning the treble, while Eto’o was often used in defense roles like in the infamous second leg against Barcelona during the semifinals. Under Rafa Benitez (who was fired midway through the season) Eto’o did much better with 37 goals in 53 matches.
The only issue that could stand in the way of Eto’o joining any team is his salary. Anzhi won’t be asking much in terms of a transfer fee, or at least a lot less than the €27 million they spent on him two years ago. But no one will pay Eto’o the kind of money he made in Russia, and it’ll be interesting to see just how much he’s willing to cut from his wages in order to find himself in a big European league once again, or if Anzhi will participate in his salary with his next team.