Samuel Eto'o and African Players That Could Transfer Before the Window Closes
There is less than a week to go before the summer transfer window closes across Europe. However, the next few days promise to be frantic and fraught as clubs across the world seek to complete their business and add the finishing touches to their squads for the coming campaign.
Numerous African stars have already switched clubs since the end of last season, and several others are expected to follow them to pastures new over the coming days.
Potential moves for players such as Wilfried Bony, Emmanuel Emenike and Emmanuel Adebayor look unlikely to be realised at this late stage, but some of the continent’s other high-profile stars will look to secure moves before the beginning of September.
This article looks at six African players that may well be at a new club before the window slams shut.
Earlier in the window, clubs in the Premier League top seven were reported to be chasing Salomon Kalou. The likes of Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal were all linked to the Ivorian forward, who currently plays for LOSC Lille, via David Wright of the Express.
However, with the window drawing to a close, a much more modest strain of EPL club is making moves on Kalou.
Matt Law of the Telegraph has acknowledged that Sunderland and West Ham United have made enquiries about the forward’s availability and both will look to close a deal before the beginning of September.
The acquisition of Kalou, who won the Premier League, the Champions League and four FA Cup titles at Chelsea, would represent a major coup for either club.
During this transfer window, Mehdi Benatia and his club side AS Roma have shared a vast spectrum of emotions.
Contracts were offered and rejected, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (via asroma.co.uk), and the player professed his loyalty to the club, per TMW (via talkSPORT), despite admitting his desire to seek pastures new, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Vaishali Bhardwaj of Metro).
Manchester City emerged as the first serious suitors, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, but their decision to buy Eliaquim Mangala has all but ended those rumours.
In their place rose Manchester United (in an inversion of recent English footballing dynamics), although the club haven’t yet made concrete their desire to replace the grit and reliability of Nemanja Vidic with the North African.
Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with the player (via Metro)—Spurs fans enjoyed a fond relationship with Benatia’s compatriot, Noureddine Naybet, who also played in the centre of defence, just under a decade ago.
Finally, Bayern Munich took a lead on the player’s other admirers and made a concentrated approach to recruit him, bidding €22 million plus add-ons, according to TuttoMercatoWeb (via Rowan Williams of Forza Italian Football).
According to Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, however, a meeting between the two sides has been scrapped due to an insufficient bid from Bayern.
Could this open the door to a late-window move to the Premier League, where United appear to be in dire need of defensive support?
Could Andre Ayew be the next player to take the well-trodden path from French football to St. James’ Park?
According to Alex Harris of the Daily Star, Alan Pardew’s side are one of several Premier League sides who have been offered the services of the Ghana international.
Harris suggested that Ayew is keen to join the exodus from OM as the fallen giants slip even further away from the summit of French football, but that AC Milan and Napoli have both turned down the chance to recruit the playmaker.
The Black Star himself has previously indicated a desire to sample life in the EPL. Speaking on Telefoot last summer, as reported by Andrew Wychrij of Goal.com, he had the following to say about the Premier League.
"It's a league I always think of," he began.
"I am Ghanaian and an English speaker, and the English league is the one most watched in Ghana. I have a strong preference for England. I am not seeking to leave but if interested clubs have the number of [Marseille] president [Vincent] Labrune."
With OM keen to sell, don’t be surprised to see Ayew sign for a top-half side between now and the market’s close on Monday.
While Andre Ayew might be an arrival at St. James’ Park, Chieck Tiote could well find his name up on the departures board over the next few days.
William Joyce of Goal.com reported on August 20 that Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow had made an offer for the midfielder.
The 28-year-old Ivory Coast was bought by the Magpies back in 2010, from FC Twente, and the club appear willing to seek a profit on the tenacious midfielder. The summer arrivals of Dutchman Siem de Jong, as well as former Sunderland man Jack Colback, have greatly improved Alan Pardew’s midfield options.
However, another intriguing option might be a switch to Arsenal.
Gary Jones of the Daily Star has reported that the Gunners would be willing to offer Tiote the European football he craves and see him as a cheaper option to the likes of Sami Khedira and William Carvalho.
Few would complain that Arsenal lack bite and tenacity in the heart of midfield should they recruit the Ivorian pitbull before the window closes.
As well as Cheick Tiote, Arsenal are also said to be monitoring their former midfielder Alex Song.
According to El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Metro), Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that he is interested in bringing the Cameroon international back to the Emirates Stadium and would be willing to rescue him from his dismal sojourn at Barcelona.
The report indicated that the North London side are the favourites for Song’s signature, with a fee of £10 million being mooted. Liverpool had also been rumoured to be interested in the player but are considered to be behind the Gunners in the race.
Song offers versatility and Premier League experience, but following his underwhelming spell in Catalonia—where he has struggled to assert himself within the first team—it remains to be seen whether he can return to the form he once demonstrated in England.
Joe Strange of the Daily Mail noted that Barcelona have made the player available for a loan deal—could this tempt other Premier League sides to make a move for the 26-year-old before the window closes?
Over the summer, legendary Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has been linked with a myriad of clubs across Europe and beyond, but it looks like Everton have won the race for his signature.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reported that the forward is set for a medical with Everton on Tuesday, with the Blues looking to secure Eto’o on a significant wage cut from the £130,000-a-week he received at Chelsea last season.
Earlier in the week it looked like Liverpool were lining up the Indomitable Lions hitman as a back-up plan should their move for Mario Balotelli fall through, via Mike Whalley of ESPN FC. However, with the Italy international being confirmed as a Liverpool player, Eto’o has become superfluous.
Ajax, West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers are just some of the clubs who have been linked with the experienced striker, via John Cross of The Mirror.