Chelsea will sign Samuel Eto’o on a stunning £7million one-year deal on Thursday after admitting defeat in their pursuit of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
Eto’o, the 32-year-old Cameroon forward, is taking a huge pay cut from the £17m a year that made him the world’s best paid footballer at Anzhi Makhachkala and will sign on a free transfer. At Chelsea, his fees would be cut down to a more manageable £135,000 per week, which would put Eto’o in the upper echelon of our earners but would hardly break the bank.
Eto’o arrived at London’s St Pancras station on Wednesday night, where he was pictured with super-agent Pini Zahavi, and is due to have a medical at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before finalising terms after his advisers held talks on Wednesday.
‘There is only one Jose Mourinho,’ Eto’o once said about his former manager. ‘I have played under a lot of great coaches but there is no other character in the game like Jose. I would like to have the chance to play under him again because it is never boring when Jose is around.’ Eto’o could be a brilliant short term solution for Chelsea woes upfront, but it is also sure to raise some question marks about the immediate future of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. Ba has been linked with a move away from the club and Newcastle are reportedly look to re-sign him in a cut price deal.
The arrivals of Willian and Eto’o will not signal the end of Chelsea’s spending. The club are in talks with Porto for Christian Atsu, a £4m-rated winger also wanted by Cardiff, Tottenham and Liverpool. And the 21-year-old Ghana flyer is concerned he will get little playing time among Chelsea’s galaxy of attacking stars. But if they do sign Atsu ahead of free-spending Spurs, it will be a second triumph over Andre Villas-Boas this summer, following Willian.