Milan, Aug 17: Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti is hoping to sell standout striker Samuel Eto'o to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala because the offer is just too good to turn down, and it coincides with new financial fair play standards being introduced by UEFA.
Anzhi is reportedly prepared to pay Inter between ¤20 and ¤30 million ($29 and $43 million) for the 30-year-old Eto'o and give the Cameroon international a three-year contract worth ¤20 million ($29 million) net per season.
The deal would make Eto'o the highest paid footballer on the planet, eclipsing the estimated ¤12 million ($17.4 million) that Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Real Madrid and the ¤10.5 million ($15.2 million) that Lionel Messi is paid by Barcelona.
“When an offer like that comes around, it's difficult to match or refuse,” Moratti told Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.
Eto'o arrived for meetings with Anzhi officials in Milan on Wednesday with the deal close to being finalized, according to the ANSA news agency.
Moratti added that UEFA's new financial rules have forced clubs to evaluate their budgets and spending more closely.
This season's club accounts are the first ones that formally have to be given to UEFA for inspection—by June, 2013.
“Financial fair play is serious,” Moratti said. “Whoever doesn't respect the parameters will find themselves excluded from European competition.”
Anzhi, from the troubled southern Russian province of Dagestan, is owned by billionaire businessman Suleiman Kerimov.
Inter is eyeing Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid or Ezequiel Lavezzi of Napoli as a replacement for Eto'o, with Moratti saying he doesn't expect a deal with Manchester City for Carlos Tevez.
Meanwhile, playmaker Wesley Sneijder appears set to remain at Inter.
“There was never any sort of deal for Wes,” Moratti said. “If Eto'o goes he stays, but seeing as Sneijder was untouchable even before this possibility, he's even more so now.”
Also Wednesday, center back Lucio extended his contract with Inter for two more seasons, through 2013-14. And Inter announced it has signed 18-year-old Paraguayan winger Rodrigo Alborno Ortega from Libertad to a contract through 2015-16. AP