Mourinho: Chelsea did everything possible to sign Eto’o

Jose Mourinho has revealed that Chelsea tried to sign Samuel Eto'o in 2006 during his first spell at Stamford Bridge

jose mourinho
Jose Mourinho was officially unveiled at Chelsea last week Photo: The Sport Review

Jose Mourinho has revealed that Chelsea tried to sign Samuel Eto’o in 2006 during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese coach, who signed a four-year deal to return as Blues boss earlier this month, was keen to bring the Cameroon international to west London to partner Didier Drogba up front.

However, the Blues’ bid for the then Barcelona forward failed and the club signed Andriy Shevchenko instead.

“We wanted to buy Samuel Eto’o, he was our target,” said Mourinho. “The owner was more than ready to bring Eto’o here because he was the player I wanted.

“Do you know why? Because he was the only player I could play with [Didier] Drogba, changing the system for two strikers. But he was also ready to play with Drogba in the system we had at the time, with three attacking players, with Eto’o coming from the sides, the same as I did at Inter with him.

“Sometimes there I was playing Eto’o and [Diego] Milito in a 4-4-2 system, and when I wanted to play with three attackers I was playing [Goran] Pandev, Milito and Eto’o.

“We wanted Eto’o; Roman Abramovich did everything to bring him and [then chief executive] Peter Kenyon did everything to bring him. In the end, Barcelona said they didn’t want to sell, forget it. One more zero, one less zero [on the price], forget it.

“So our option that the owner was doing everything to bring wasn’t possible because Barcelona decided no money would do it. After that we went to other options and it became the Shevchenko option.”

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