Sunderland lining up shock move for Samuel Eto'o after striker rejects West Ham move

Eto'o is on the hunt for a new Premier League club following his release by Chelsea

Samuel Eto'o has emerged as a surprise target for Sunderland after the striker rejected West Ham.

The Cameroon hitman is available on a free transfer after being released by Chelsea earlier this summer and is willing to take a significant pay cut to stay in the Premier League, according to reports.

Eto'o's agent Claudio Vigorelli had been in talks with West Ham over a one-year deal with an option for a further year's extension - but the offer did not meet with the former Barcelona striker's acceptance.

Now it seems Gustavo Poyet could move for the four-time African player of the year, who scored nine goals in 21 appearances under Jose Mourinho last season.

 

Such is Eto'o's desire to stay within the confines of the Premier League that the 33-year-old has declined potentially more lucrative offers from Besiktas and the Middle East. And Sunderland could be the perfect fit, with the Black Cats looking for striking reinforcements whilst their protracted move for Fabio Borini rumbles on.

West Ham have already made a significant outlay on a striker this summer, spending £12 million on the Ecuadorian Enner Valencia - but Sam Allardyce confirmed at the weekend that he was still on the lookout for further signings to bolster his forward line.

Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea celebrates Eto'o is looking for a new club after his release by Chelsea

“Valencia needs to do at least three weeks' work before we'd consider him for the first team, so yes I want to sign a new striker," he said on Saturday night after his side's friendly win against Schalke.

“I hope it happens before [the first game of the season against] Tottenham.

“I'm keeping my fingers crossed, everyone is working extremely hard – especially the chairmen.

Read more: 'Desperate' Poyet fears Borini deal dead in the water
Scocco leaves Sunderland for Argentina after eight appearances and no goals

"There has been a lot of talk about Samuel Eto'o. From our point of view the chairman was perhaps looking at a younger player.

"Samuel is still available and we have decided he should be considered at some stage if we're not successful [in signing a younger player].

“Certainly while we've been here [on pre-season duty in Germany] the chairman has made enquiries, whether they can be finalised I won't know until I get back.

“Everyone is working hard to bring in a new face to give us the opportunity to score the goals with the chances we're creating."

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