Samuel Eto’o has revealed how he was on the verge of signing for a club in the Premier League after leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2009.
Eto’o, who recently signed for Russian club Anzhi from Inter, explained just how close he was to completing a move to England before Inter made a late offer for him.
The Cameroon striker told French newspaper L’Equipe: "Before going to Italy, I was almost signed to another club [in England].
“Everything was sorted but then after a match in Yaounde, I received a call from president Moratti and several minutes after one from Jose Mourinho [then Inter manager].
“I do not regret that decision. I was brave because I broke my word.
“I had to tell the English team and it was really tough, but they understood. "
Eto’o then went on to detail the negotiations that went into his transfer to Anzhi, where he will reportedly earn more than £17 million per year.
He added: "In June, just before Cameroon v Senegal, Benoit Angbwa, my Cameroon team-mate told me that the owner [of Anzhi] wanted to talk to me.
“I met him in Paris in the aftermath. I went to see president Moratti to discuss this opportunity.
“Afterwards, everything was about the details. It took time.
“Then after the final of the Italian Supercup, everything was sorted.
“Of course, if it was with the same contract as at Inter, I would not have signed."
Anzhi currently sit fourth in the Russian Premier League after 23 games, and will be hoping Eto’o and their other signings will help them reduce the six-point gap to leaders CSKA Moscow.