Rafa linked with approach for Eto’o

Are Liverpool looking to bring Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o to Anfield in the summer? According to many reports this morning they are.

It seems Spanish television broke the news yesterday that Rafa had made an approach to Barcelona for the striker, who’s recently been involved in public rows with manager Frank Rijkaard. Benitez looked after Eto’o in his days in charge of Real Madrid’s academy, and he was still a Real player at the start of Rafa’s reign. When Michael Owen went to Real Madrid Rafa is also said to have tried to get Eto’o to come to Anfield as part of the deal. Eto’o chose to stay in Spain though instead, and went to Barcelona, for a fee of £16million.

With Liverpool having been taken over by Gillet and Hicks, and their promises they want to see the club succeed on the field, it’s inevitable that the Reds will be linked with big names signings. It remains to be seen just what Rafa’s transfer budget will be – bearing in mind there’s a big new chunk of TV money on its way too – but we can expect a summer full of alleged approaches for players. And not every approach will be successful – Liverpool are likely to have competition from Chelsea and Arsenal for Eto’o’s signature. And Liverpool have also strongly been linked with David Villa, another striker from the Spanish league.

Eto’o’s recent arguments have been related to his feeling he was being rushed back too soon after being out for four months with a serious knee injury. He was left out of the Champions League clash with Liverpool last week, but was back again on Sunday, scoring a goal as he started against Athletic Bilbao in Barca’s 3-0 win.

With Liverpool set for the second leg against Barcelona next week, it’s no surprise that this link has surfaced. We’re playing Manchester United next and it’s traditional for the papers to link our own players with moves to other clubs ahead of that fixture!