Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o is furious with manager Jose Mourinho after off-the-record comments made by the Portuguese coach were published earlier this week, according to The Sun.
Mourinho was quoted by Canal Plus as saying: “The problem at Chelsea is that we are missing a striker, I have one in Samuel Eto’o but he is 32, possibly 35, who knows?”
Needless to say, these comments have not gone down well with Eto’o, who signed for the Blues on a one-year deal last summer.
Former Cameroon boss Claude Le Roy was quoted as saying about Eto’o: “He is very angry. I spoke on the phone to him.
"Jose Mourinho went to see him before Samuel had the chance to see the TV pictures and to tell him not to believe everything that was said.”
Le Roy, while speaking on French TV show Talents d’Afrique, added: “He also said that he hadn’t said anything about Samuel. But I can tell you that Samuel is not at all happy with what has happened.”
Mourinho is livid that a seemingly private conversation has been leaked - but insists that there should be no problem between himself and his striker.
“From my perspective, the comment is obviously not a good one and not something I would do in an official way in an interview,” he said on Tuesday. “First of all, because I don’t make fun. Secondly, because if there are managers in the world who really defend their players, I’m obviously one of them.
“And third because Samuel Eto’o is Samuel Eto’o. He’s a Champions League winner four times.
“It was with him that I had the best season of my career. He’s one of the few players who is working with me at a second different club and a manager never does that if he doesn’t like the player.
“He has no reason to be upset because also he said a few years ago that Mourinho is the only manager in the world who he would never play for. Then, after one year, he was playing with me at Inter and now here.”
Eto’o has scored eight goals in 23 appearances for the Blues this season - including a hat-trick against Manchester United last month - but it seems that his stay at Stamford Bridge is unlikely to extend into a second year following this gaffe by Mourinho.