Chelsea edge ahead of Napoli in race for Eto’o

Chelsea look set to take advantage of the turmoil surrounding Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala with a move for Samuel Eto’o.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho is ready to turn to the 32 year old after being frustrated in his attempts to land top target Wayne Rooney.

Mourinho had previously revealed that Rooney was his only target this summer but with Manchester United refusing to discuss a deal with Chelsea the former Real Madrid looks set to miss out and will now switch his sights to Eto’o.

The Cameroon International made his name in spells with Inter Milan and Barcelona before deciding to move to Russia with the lure of a reported £17 a million salary too good to turn down, however with Anzhi in financial meltdown the player looks set for a move to England.

The club bankrolled by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov have decided to change their policy, and will from on operate on a much smaller budget. The club are keen to offload some of their most expensive recruits with Willian, Lacina Traore and Christopher Samba all set to leave along with Eto’o.

Big spending Napoli are also interested in the player but the mutual respect between Eto’o and Mourinho looks set to swing things Chelsea’s way.

The pair have worked together before enjoying tremendous success with Inter where they claimed a historic treble and the player has welcomed the interest from his old coach saying “There is only one Jose Mourinho. I have played under a lot of great coaches but there is no other character in the game like Jose,” Eto’o said today.

“He is one of the best coaches in the world – and we had a lot of success together at Inter. I would like to have the chance to play under him again – because it is never boring when Jose is around.

“Of course Chelsea are a great team – and when we have all the offers on the table then I will discuss with my agent and see what my next step is.”

Eto’o, who has asked the Russian outfit to leave him leave on a free, began his career with Real Madrid before making his name in a 5 year spell with Barcelona where he claimed 3 La Liga titles, 2 Champions League titles and another Copa del Rey to add to the one he won with Real Mallorca in 2003.

The player moved to Inter Milan in the summer of 2009 in a deal that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic move to the Nou Camp playing a pivotal role in the club’s success before making the surprise decision to move to Russia in 2011.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.