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Ex-Chelsea free agent won't get chance for Ashley Cole reunion - report

Roma have been heavily linked with ex-Chelsea free agent Samuel Eto’o - but journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has suggested he’s not wanted at the Stadio Olimpico.

After an unexpectedly successful maiden season under boss Rudi Garcia, Roma are in the process of tooling up for the coming campaign.

The Giallorossi charged to a second place finish in Serie A last term, missing out on the title only to a record-setting Juventus side and returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2010-11.

Garcia’s squad consisted of an eclectic mix of youth and experience, with burgeoning stars the likes of Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic rubbing elbows with club legends Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi.

And with a packed fixture list on tap this time around that includes Europe’s elite competition, the Stadio Olimpico outfit have gone about building on this blended roster on the transfer market.

Highly-rated 20-year-old Salih Ucan has been imported from Turkey, whilst veteran former Champions League-winners Seydou Keita and Ashley Cole were signed to add depth and experience at the highest level.

Roma continue to be linked with adding Samuel Eto’o to their corps of Champions League victors, the Cameroonian free agent tipped to follow former Chelsea team-mate Cole to the Eternal City.

Eto’o is said to be keen to stay in a top European division instead of moving to a far-removed ‘alternative’ league, with Roma reportedly ready to hand him the chance to do so.

But according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, only the 33-year-old is interested in seeing himself in Giallorosso - Roma are not.

Di Marzio’s report reads: “His agent proposed him to Roma, but the club didn’t look very interested and they immediately blocked the negotiation.

“As for now, Eto’o isn’t Roma’s priority, the club doesn’t seem convinced of this investment.”

And an expensive investment Eto’o would be. Whilst he’s available on a free transfer, his high salary demands would eat into Roma’s tightly regulated wage structure.

All of the Giallorossi’s transfer dealings so far have been fairly conservative from a financial standpoint and if this mould is to be broken, it’s more likely to be on a rising talent with room to grow.

Barring an unforeseen change of heart from the club, it seems Eto’o will have to settle for another destination to prolong his career in Europe.

His winning pedigree and Bosman status certainly reflect that of Keita and Cole, but the message from Roma that their priorities lie elsewhere at this point looks quite clear.

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