Arsenal 'join bid' for Samuel Eto'o - report

Samuel Eto'o

A report in Spain has claimed Arsenal are joining Chelsea in the chase for Samuel Eto'o.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis boasted earlier this summer the club were willing to smash their wage structure if the right player came along; and that resolve may just be about to be put to the ultimate test.

Still to sign a player of major note, Arsenal have been credited with joining the race for Cameroon's all-time leading goalscorer.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are interested in signing Eto'o, who is being made available amid a firesale at Anzhi Machachkala.

Anzhi's owner is 'downsizing' their project pledging to slash overall costs by about two-thirds, which means selling major stars - including Samuel Eto'o who is the world's most highly paid footballer.

Mundo Deportivo claim: "On Thursday (there has been) added the bid of Arsenal  on the one hand, and Napoli and said Inter Milan, on the other.

"Arsenal had longed for former Barcelona striker before and after the decision by his club they dream of being able to take the attacker to the Emirates Stadium."

Chelsea's interest was touted by the Express on Wednesday night, also referenced by MD, and clearly Arsenal's path to sign the striker is not clear, with Napoli and Inter joining them - and it's likely there will be a number more.

Arsenal are locked in a standoff with Liverpool regarding Luis Suarez, but they surely will be considering alternatives to the Uruguayan just in case.

The Eto'o and Anzhi developments bear the same hallmark of Malaga's financial woes last summer, which led to Arsenal seizing the opportunity to steal in and sign Santi Cazorla.

Admittedly this is far more complicated, due to the competition for Eto'o, but perhaps far more largely - his age and wages.

A three times Champions League winner (twice with Barcelona and once with Inter Milan), Eto'o is now 32-years-old and has been playing at Anzhi since 2011; but he remains lethal - he scored 21 goals for the club last season.

The big problem is his wages. Eto'o is still the world's highest paid footballer, earning a staggering €20 million per season. Even if he agreed to half that figure it would still make him Arsenal's highest earner by far.

It's one thing asking Arsenal to smash their wage structure, but another altogether expecting them to do it for a 32-year-old who has been out of Europe's limelight for two seasons.

The Gunners' reported interest is certainly intriguing, but be well aware of the minefield of issues which make a deal far more unlikelier to happen than most. 

What do you think of the link? Could you see it happening or is it too far fetched?

image: © Jason Bagley

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