Eto'o in Guangzhou Evergrande talks

The 33-year-old has clashed with Jose Mourinho and is keen on a move to China but is demanding a salary worth €10 million per season in order to join Marcello Lippi's side
Guangzhou Evergrande are in talks to sign Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o, Goal understands.

The 33-year-old is set to leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent this summer and Marcello Lippi, who manages the Chinese club, has made the forward his priority signing.

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The former Italy coach is keen to bolster his attacking options with a striker who possesses substantial international pedigree. But while Eto’o is willing to move to China, his wage demands of €10 million [£8.1m] per season have been the biggest drawback in the ongoing negotiations.

Eto’o scored 12 goals in 34 appearances for Chelsea but was angered by comments made by Jose Mourinho regarding the veracity of his age.

Earlier this season, the Chelsea manager was caught on camera suggesting that the Cameroon international was older than 33.

Eto’o has subsequently branded Mourinho a “puppet” and a “fool” in two separate interviews.

Guangzhou Evergrande are confident of securing a deal for Eto’o but are considering Alberto Gilardino as a back-up option. Genoa want €5m [£4m] for the 31-year-old.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have agreed a £35 million deal for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. The 25-year-old has been handed a five-year contract worth £150,000 a week.