Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Samuel Eto'o as part of the negotiations to acquire Willian for 30 million pounds from Anzhi Makhachkala which will end their attempts to buy Wayne Rooney this summer. The double signing could be announced later this week.
The transfer of Eto'o, the 32-year-old former Inter Milan and Barcelona striker, is part of the agreement to sign Brazil midfielder Willian but Jose Mourinho does not want Eto'o's involvement to become public until after tomorrow night's Premier League game against Manchester United. Mourinho hopes that continuing the speculation over Chelsea's interest in Rooney, who may start tomorrow, will unsettle United.
Rooney had hoped to join Chelsea this summer but is now resigned to staying at United and, it is understood, fully prepared to run down his contract in the hope of either leaving in January or more likely next summer when Moyes may be more prepared to sell. Chelsea have indicated that they will wait for Rooney, who has two years left on his contract, and they regard Eto'o as a stopgap. The fee for Eto'o, the highest-paid player at the Russian club, is thought to be around 2 million pounds.
Tottenham Hotspur, who had agreed a deal to sign Willian until it was hijacked by Chelsea, are furious at having missed out on the midfielder and the collapse of the move could delay Gareth Bale's impending departure to Real Madrid. Spurs are determined to bring in another attacking player first as well as sign Roma forward Erik Lamela. Spanish media said Bale had arrived in Spain yesterday ahead of a world record move which Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said was disrespectful. Martino said: "Bale is a good player but the number that are being talked about; it is a lack of respect for the world we live in." Speaking ahead of tomorrow's game, Mourinho argued that United should sell Rooney to Chelsea to keep the striker in England. Mourinho said: "That old-fashioned mentality of 'I don't sell players to clubs in the same country' I think doesn't help the market."
"It doesn't help the players and sometimes you push players to play abroad when you should be interested in keeping the players to play in your league because when you keep players in your league you are contributing to making your league the best league, so when you want to sell and you push the players abroad I think you are giving the wrong contribution to the league." Mourinho suggested it was not in United's interests to keep an "unhappy" player.
"We had Robben unhappy, we sold him to Real Madrid because he wanted so much to go to Real Madrid. We had William Gallas unhappy, we sold William Gallas to Arsenal," he said of his first spell at Chelsea although he added that "every case" was different. Eto'o, like Willian and Anzhi's other star players, was put up for sale after club owner Suleyman Kerimov decided to pull much of his funding.
His arrival at Chelsea will see the club attempt to move on Demba Ba before the transfer window closes, with Victor Moses expected to go out on loan. Willian's arrival will cast further doubt on the future of Juan Mata. He is likely to make way for Willian in Mourinho's first-choice team, the Brazilian lining up with Eden Hazard and Oscar as an attacking trio behind a lone striker.