Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o should accept a big-money offer by Dagestan-based club Anzhi Makhachkala and leave Inter Milan (Italy), a football (soccer) pundit at U.S.-based TV channel ESPN has said.
“I think he should go if that money is true,” Janusz Michallik said on ESPN Soccernet Press Pass.
Anzhi Makhachkala is offering to pay Eto’o 20 million euros net (i.e after tax) yearly for three years if he accepts to join the club that is owned by billionaire, Suleyman Kerimov, and plays in the Russian Premier League.
Michallik said nobody would begrudge the three times winner of the European Champions League, four times African Player of the Year, Olympic Gold Medal and twice Africa Cup winner with Cameroon, for leaving if such money is on offer.
“He’s been a great servant of the game, he’s won just about everything there is to be won,” he said.
Although negotiations are underway between Eto’o’s current employers Inter Milan and the Russian club, the striker mentioned a possible move to England at a press conference over the weekend in his native Cameroon.
The local media have been quick to interpret that as a suggestion that Eto’o could be involved in a move to Manchester City which would see Carlos Tevez moving in the other direction.
Eto’o’s home fan-base is split over the issue. There are those who think the Russioan proposal is too good to be dropped given that the striker has already had as much success as he would want (apart from the World Cup).
Others would like to see their national team captain stay in western Europe playing in a more competitive league such as the English Premier League.
However, England-based journalist Gabrielle Marcotti thinks Eto’o only has two choices now – either go to Russia or stay with Inter in Italy. He argued that a move to Manchester City was unlikely as the English club (though extremely rich) would struggle to match the wages promised by the Russian club given the high tax rates in the U.K.
“The money is 20 million euros net. Now if Manchester City wanted to pay him that much…with the 50 percent tax rate here in England they’d have to offer 40 million euros which is £37 million which is about $55 million and that would be for 3 years,” Marcotti explained on ESPN Soccernet Press Pass.
“Samuel Eto’o would become the highest paid athlete in the world bar none,” Marcotti added.
Until a deal is settled in the days ahead, speculation would continue over the future of the 30-year-old Cameroonian who still hopes to feature at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
[Click here to watch the 15 August Edition of ESPN Soccernet Press Pass on which the issue was discussed. You would have to wait (or fast-forward) until 44 mins 52 secs for discussion on Eto’o to start.]