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Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o set for move to Major League Soccer

Dec 10, 2013, 7:40 AM EDT

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Last month speculation arose that Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o could be headed to Major League Soccer with Toronto FC the rumored destination.

Despite TFC’s need to add two to three designated players, many hemmed and hawed over the rumor.

Today, The Guardian is reporting that the veteran Cameroon forward is expected to move to Major League Soccer but it won’t be to Southern Ontario.

Wanting a move to the US rather than Canada, it’s believed Eto’o will move to Los Angeles Galaxy, DC United and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders or Chicago Fire.

Since arriving at Chelsea this past summer on a one-year deal from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for a cut-price $8.2 million, Eto’o has scored two goals in nine Premier League matches while also netting twice in the 3-0 win over Schalke in the Champions League.

Signed on deadline-day, Eto’o was widely believed to be a stop-gap for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho following his failure to sign Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and his decision to loan out Romelu Lukaku to Everton. Used in rotation with Fernando Torres and to a lesser extent, Demba Ba, Eto’o has won decent plaudits.

The three strikers have combined for a meager four league goals between them, which was enough to set Mourinho off in a post-match rant following his side’s 3-2 loss to Stoke City on Saturday. With options limited and Lukaku due back at Stamford Bridge next summer, the Portuguese boss is believed to be unwilling to dip into the January transfer window for a new striker.

“At the end of the season we will be in better condition to analyze our squad, to analyze the market and, normally, make a couple of changes to improve the team for next season,” said Mourinho, “but this season, we are ready to go to the end with the same people.”

Exactly where Eto’o may land in MLS remains a point of intrigue. Whatever side does manage to scoop him up will do so on a free transfer, a bonus to a potentially costly acquisition. At Anzhi, Eto’o earned $28 million per year, the highest salary in the world. This year at Chelsea that figure was slashed to $11 million.

Whether Eto’o can make an impact in MLS is another point of debate. While adjusting to the change from Russian to English Premier Leagues is no easy feat, the Cameroonian legend has shown flashes of form but has failed to provide a consistent attacking threat. Surrounded be talented, creative players at Chelsea, his inability to record a consistent goal haul is a bit worrying.

Nevertheless, the 32-year-old remains one of the games very best goal-poachers and few will doubt the quality and impact he could have in America.

Eto’o is expected to open pre-contract talks with MLS clubs in January before departing for the United States at the end of the campaign.

  1. seanb20124 - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    So far, only Beckham and Adu have been able to sell tickets to the casual fan. I wonder if Samuel can?

  2. rphillish - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    So does this mean the league will consider going to 4 DP slots?

    • charliej11 - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Lord, I hope not on the 4 DPs. IF they do 4 DPs, I would rather they keep the salary cap where it is, so teams can implode under the weight of having 4 guys hit at the max salary hit.

      I think it means that he is negotiating and wants a higher contract. IF that means MLS, he might consider it.

      IF it means going to the perma losing teams of Europe, he would definitely consider it.

  3. footballer4ever - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    “it’s believed Eto’o will move to Los Angeles Galaxy, DC United and Club Deportivo Chivas USA”

    Ha! Chivas USA, you said? Don’t you know they only want mexicans or of mexican descents over there? Seriously, no way in hell Eto would come to MLS if he’s going to end up in that pathetic club. Might as well come to us to kick some nlf eggballs instead.

  4. lewpuls - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I read this in the Guardian, and it’s an example of stupendously lazy journalism combined with contempt for the MLS. Why is PST repeating this foolishness? LA already has 3 DP and isn’t going to get rid of Donavan, Keane, or Gonzalex for S.E. Seattle has to let Eddie Johnson go because they have 3 DP already, they’re certainly not going to get an old S.E. And so forth.

    • lostintransocean - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      This comment is an example of stupendously lazy reading. Eto’o would remain at Chelsea through next summer, so he would be a mid-season signing in MLS at that point. LA does indeed have 3 DPs, but many are speculating Omar will be sold off after the WC to the highest bidder, opening up room for another DP signing. Eddie Johnson hasn’t been let go from Seattle (though he is being shopped around). If Dempsey does go out on loan, as he’s looking to do, it opens up a DP slot in Seattle, and when Obafemi leaves, it could work everything out.

      There’s also the fact that MLS changes the rules all the time in order to accommodate signing big named players (Beckham, Dempsey, et al), and even mid-season rule changes are not out of the norm. This would be heading into 2015 when NYCFC and OCSC are joining the league (and possibly Beckham’s Miami Experiment) with owners willing to splash money, so the DP rule has been speculated to be modified in some way (American DPs and International DPs assigned differently, etc).

  5. chadmoon1 - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    FCD needs a striker, as they have not re-signed Kenny Cooper. If he is not brought back, we’ll take him!!

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