Chelsea may well be happy with the signing of Juan Cuadrado in the January transfer window, but Jose Mourinho apparently missed out on another one of his targets, who snubbed the Stamford Bridge club for a Serie A side.
According to the Daily Star, former Blues star Samuel Eto'o recommended countryman Fabrice Olinga to Jose Mourinho and that the Chelsea manager was keen on putting together a deal to take him on from Malaga, but it has failed to materialise.
The report claims that Eto'o also arranged for a trial with current club Sampdoria for the 18-year-old and he has opted to sign for them instead. This could be a disappointing outcome for Mourinho, who the report says was impressed by the winger.
Chelsea's transfer strategy over the past couple of seasons has been centred around the signing of impressive youngsters and with focus on expensive established internationals as they used to, in order to meet with Financial Fair Play regulations.
FFP guidelines had meant that the arrival of Cuadrado on deadline day meant players had to leave to help balance the books. A deal in the region of £24million was agreed with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg for the signing of Andre Schürrle, while Mohamed Salah was sent on loan for the season to Fiorentina.
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Olinga's move to Sampdoria will likely have a lot to do with the influence of Eto'o, but the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star has already fallen out with his new club, only six days after signing. He reportedly refused to do a double training session ordered after a 5-1 defeat at the weekend and his future at the club has been called into question.
Yet to Establish Himself
Olinga is a speedy winger and made history a couple of seasons ago by becoming the youngest ever player to score in La Liga, when he found the net at the age of 16 years and 98 days when he made his Malaga debut.
He struggled to become a regular there and was sent out on loan to Belgian side Zulte Waregem and Cypriot side Apollon Limassol. However, he has still managed a handful of Cameroon caps and it appears though a little help from Eto'o has landed him a new deal.