Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o is to leave Italian soccer club Inter Milan to move to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, according to the Italian team’s chief executive officer.
Eto’o, 30, joined Inter from Barcelona in 2009 and won the Champions League, Serie A and the Italian cup in his first season. Inter has been trying to sell players in a bid to cut its deficit.
“Eto’o is leaving,” Ernesto Paolillo said in a text message today. “He is going to the Russian club.”
The Italian team’s president Massimo Moratti later told the Inter website the club was still deciding whether to accept the Russian team’s proposal.
The 18-time Italian champion has expressed interest in Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, who’s publicly stated his desire to leave Manchester City. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder is reportedly a target for Manchester United.
Paolillo said there was “no chance for Tevez” and Sneijder would be staying.
Still, the Netherlands national team player yesterday said he wasn’t sure what would happen before the close of the European transfer window on Aug. 31.
“For the first time, they have said publicly that they need money,” he was quoted as saying by Algemeen Dagblat, a Dutch daily newspaper. “In our squad, me and Eto’o represent the biggest transfer value, so it is only logical everybody is watching us. It is not my wish to leave. Manchester United or Manchester City, or any other club, I don’t have an opinion about it as long as there is nothing concrete. I am an Inter player and that’s how I am working towards a new season.”
Inter had 69 million-euro ($98 million) loss in 2010.
Paolillo didn’t say how much Inter would receive for Eto’o. Anzhi would pay 30 million euros, Eurosport said. The Russian club, based in the Republic of Dagestan, has been recruiting heavily since it was bought by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov in January. The African striker would join former Brazil’s World Cup winning defender Roberto Carlos and ex-Chelsea player Yuri Zhirkov. The roster also includes players from Georgia, Morocco, Latvia and Hungary.
The team is sponsored by Nafta Moskva, Kerimov’s principal investment vehicle. He has interests in chemicals, real estate and finance. Last year Finans magazine ranked Kerimov Russia’s seventh-richest man with a fortune of 515.1 billion rubles ($17.5 billion).
Anzhi is 5th after 19 games of the Russian league. It trails leader CSKA Moscow by eight points.