Toon target Sam swoop JOSE SNUB OPENS DOOR FOR PARDS
SAMUEL ETO’O could end up facing Jose Mourinho this season, rather than playing for him.
The Cameroon hitman has emerged as a shock target for Newcastle after being put up for sale by Anzhi Makhachkala.
He said over the weekend: “There is only one Jose Mourinho. I have played under a lot of great coaches, but there is no character in the game like him.
“He is one of the best coaches in the world and I would like to have the chance to play under him again.” But the Chelsea boss is of the opinion that, at 32, Eto’o is past his best.
He is also still convinced his chase for Wayne Rooney will be successful.
Crisis club Anzhi – where Eto’o takes home a whopping £18million a year – have put all their players up for sale with the Russian top-flight side looking for just £5m for their prized asset.
That has put Newcastle boss Alan Pardew on alert and he’ll be hoping the club can push through a deal.
Milan and Napoli are also interested in Eto’o, but his agent, Claudio Vigorelli, says he’s got his heart set on a new challenge in England.
“As a league, the Premier League is the most interesting option,” said Vigorelli.
“Samuel has won in Spain and in Italy so to win in England would definitely motivate him. There has been more than one English club show an interest but there have not been any official bids yet.”
If Eto’o did end up at St James’ Park, Pardew insists he’d have to speak English.
The no-nonsense Toon boss revealed he has slapped a strict ban on his foreign legion talking anything but English in a bid to speed up their settling-in process. Loic Remy’s arrival on a season’s loan from QPR brings the number of French players at the club into double figures – and they’ve still not given up hope adding to that with £7m Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
But the cross-Channel crew won’t be getting so much as a “bonjour” from hardline Pardew.
“I won’t say anything to them in French, not even ‘oui’,” said Pards.
“My job is to integrate the French players and the way I do that is to make them speak English as quickly as possible.
“It’s important they embrace the English culture and grasp the demands of this league.
“One or two struggle, but having more French players here it is easier for them to adapt.”