Anzhi Makhachkala confirmed on Tuesday that they have agreed terms for the transfer of four-time African Player of the Year Samuel Eto’o from Italy’s Inter in the -highest-profile signing ever by a Russian side.
“Today Anzhi and Inter reached agreement on the transfer of Samuel Eto’o,” read a statement on Anzhi’s official Web site.
“The transfer sum suited both sides,” it added, without giving financial details.
It said Cameroon star Eto’o would undergo a medical yesterday and would then sign a three-year contract, before starting training with the squad today.
“We will present Eto’o to our fans ahead of our next home match,” Anzhi general manager German Chistyakov told reporters. “We expect Samuel on Thursday to start preparations for our next match at Rostov. He will live in Moscow and train with the team at our base in the Moscow region.”
Anzhi travel to Rostov on Saturday, before facing struggling Volga Nizhny Novgorod in their next home game on Sept. 11.
Press reports said earlier that Anzhi would pay Inter 25 million euros (US$36 million) plus performance-related bonuses for the Cameroon skipper.
It is also believed that Eto’o would receive about 20.5 million euros a year in wages, making him the world’s best-paid player.
Eto’o, 30, is the most decorated player in African history, having won the Champions League three times — twice with Barcelona and once with Inter.
Eto’o also won three league titles with Barca and one with Inter, while with Cameroon he has twice won the Africa Cup of Nations.
He began his career with Real Madrid, before loan spells with Leganes, Espanyol and Real Mallorca, who he then joined permanently.
After starring in Mallorca’s Copa del Rey triumph in 2003, he went on to join Barca the next year.
Eto’o was then sold to Inter in 2009 in a swap deal involving Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the Italians also receiving 46 million euros.
Anzhi are based in Makhachkala — the capital of the Republic of Dagestan in the Caucasus — which is one of Russia’s most dangerous and unstable regions. For security reasons, the players live and train in the Moscow region and fly to Makhachkala, on the Caspian Sea coast, for home matches.
Anzhi were considered outsiders in the Russian top flight before the start of this season, but in recent months the club have displayed their ambition under powerful owner Suleiman Kerimov by signing veteran Brazilian star Roberto Carlos on a two-and-a-half year deal.