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.
However, Anzhi are understood to have sweetened the deal by giving Eto’o a multi-million-pound lump sum to get him off their wage bill.
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.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, a confirmed Eto’o admirer, turned to his Plan B after United steadfastly refused to sell Rooney.
Indeed, the England striker’s immediate future at Old Trafford looks assured after he took to his Facebook page to voice appreciation of the support he received from United fans during his outstanding performance in Monday night’s goalless draw between the sides.
Rooney posted: “It was an unbelievable reaction from the fans, so thank you. I really appreciate your support. It means a lot.”
Mourinho may try again for Rooney later in the season, but for now he is content with Eto’o, about whom he once said: “Any coach would be stupid not to want to have a striker like him.”
There is a kinship between the Chelsea coach and his new signing.
Eto’o has never been short of an opinion. At Barcelona he took a microphone on live television and called his former club Real Madrid ‘b*****ds’ to celebrate Barcelona’s 2005 Spanish title; he dared to publicly attack Ronaldinho’s work-rate and justifiably threatened to leave the field when racially abused from the stands in Zaragoza.
It is no surprise that his first exchange with Mourinho was a heated one.
In the tunnel at Stamford Bridge in 2005 when Chelsea beat Barcelona in the Champions League, a melee followed between players, and Eto’o was vocal in his opinion of Chelsea’s tactics. Mourinho liked the striker’s feistiness.
“I liked the fact he was worked up after a defeat,” recalled Mourinho.
– By The Daily Mail