Chelsea near Eto'o move with one-year deal

The Stamford Bridge outfit have switched their focus to the Anzhi Makhachkala star after abandoning their summer-long pursuit of Manchester United's Wayne Rooney
By Wayne Veysey

Chelsea are set to offer Samuel Eto'o a one-year contract, Goal understands.

The Londoners will hold another round of talks with the striker's representatives in the next 24 hours as they attempt to secure a formal agreement.

Chelsea have switched their focus to Eto'o after abandoning their summer-long pursuit of Wayne Rooney.

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Manchester United have refused to sell England's talisman to a club they regard as serious title rivals although they are understood to have given Arsenal encouragement that Rooney is available and a bid from Arsene Wenger's team is expected later this week.

Eto'o is regarded by Chelsea as a stop-gap signing but a necessary one given Jose Mourinho's misgivings about his current centre-forward trio of Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba, with the former two starting on the bench against United and the Senegal international missing out altogether.

The 32-year-old Cameroon international is available for a fee of around £1.5 million due to the firesale at his current club Anzhi Makhachkala.

Eto'o has an excellent relationship with Jose Mourinho dating back to when he was an integral member of the Portuguese's 2009-10 Inter treble-winning side.

It is understood that the Chelsea manager has been in regular contact with Eto'o over the last week to persuade him to play under him for a second time.

A contract offer will be made imminently to Eto'o's representatives although the terms are not expected to come close to his world-record Anzhi salary.

Chelsea have already acquired playmaker Willian for £31m from the Russian club after stealing him from under the noses of Tottenham at the end of last week.

Eto'o's expected arrival at Chelsea is likely to herald the departure of Ba on a season-long loan. The Senagal striker has attracted strong interest from West Ham and Roma.

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