Belfast Telegraph

Samp hopeful despite Eto'o hold-up

Sampdoria have not given up hope of signing Samuel Eto'o but negotiations with Everton are proving more complicated than the Italian club first expected.

Eto'o is reported to have agreed an 18-month contract with the Serie A side and to be willing to reduce his wages by 40 per cent in order to return to Italy, but the 33-year-old has yet to reach an agreement to leave Goodison Park.

Samp had hoped to complete Eto'o's transfer earlier this month but now face competition after the New York Cosmos joined the race to sign the Cameroon forward, who is contracted at Everton until June 2016.

"I haven't been working in football for long and can say this is a strange working environment," Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero told Sky Italia. "People say one thing and then do another.

"We went to London and then there was a turn of events because nobody can figure out who is in charge at Everton.

"But we are getting to a breakthrough. Eto'o is very eager to come and play at Sampdoria.

"We are down to the last details. What are the chances of the move being completed? Let's be cautious and say 50 per cent."

Eto'o joined the Toffees just five months ago after being released by Chelsea and has scored four goals in 20 appearances.

The four-time African Footballer of the Year spent two seasons at Inter Milan and was a member of the 2010 treble-winning side that won the Serie A title, Coppa Italia and Champions League under Jose Mourinho.

Sampdoria are looking to strengthen their attacking line after selling their top scorer Manolo Gabbiadini to Napoli earlier this month.

The Genoa outfit, coached by Sinisa Mihajlovic, is fourth in Serie A, level on 33 points with third-placed Napoli at the halfway stage of the season.

Meanwhile, Sampdoria have completed the signings of Colombian striker Luis Muriel and Italian defender Andrea Coda from Udinese on initial loan deals.

A statement from Sampdoria read: "President Massimo Ferrero and U.C. Sampdoria officially welcome Luis Fernando Muriel and Andrea Coda who are finally Blucerchiati players.

"The striker and defender have arrived to Genoa from Udinese on a temporary basis. Sampdoria can exercise the right to acquire both players permanently at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

"Muriel has signed a contract with Samp until 2019 and Coda until 2017."

The deal to bring the two players to Samp was delayed last week after Muriel failed a medical at Samp due to a muscular problem, which will keep him sidelined until next month.

However, both clubs resumed conversations on Monday and the transfer was finally completed on Thursday.

"Thank you to all the people that made this dream possible," Muriel tweeted. "Thanks a million to the Sampdoria president and my agent who fought when all seemed lost and were able to make this negotiation possible."

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