ESPN FC: Eto'o a full-time striker?
Chelsea hat trick hero Samuel Eto'o has revealed he intends to leave the club at the end of the season and hopes to end his career with Real Mallorca.
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Eto'o, who will turn 33 in March, signed a one-year deal with Chelsea last summer and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs for next season.
The striker, who scored all three of Chelsea's goals in their 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday, has been heavily linked with a move to Major League Soccer -- LA Galaxy, DC United, Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire are all said to have been monitoring his situation -- but seems set to snub a move to America in favour of a return to Spain.
The Cameroon international spent 12 years in Spain, starting his professional career with Real Madrid before going on to play for Leganes, Espanyol, Mallorca and Barcelona. He originally joined Mallorca on loan from Madrid before signing permanently in 2000, scoring 54 goals in 139 La Liga appearances over four years.
"I’ll always like Barcelona, but I personally prefer Mallorca," Eto’o revealed to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope. "My son has pressured me to finish my career there, my son is from there. I have signed on at Chelsea for the entire season and will try to enjoy it and later on, I will go to Mallorca."
He was also quoted by the Sun taking a thinly veiled swipe at Man United: "The team that has to be winning everything is [Manchester] United. Look at them now -- we’re ahead in the table. We finished way off the pace last year. But I believe in the coming season it will be our duty to win the lot -- although that’s not the case this time around.
"I’m so happy for me, for the team and the supporters. I can't remember when I last scored a hat trick. But I never lose my hunger for scoring goals -- it is my job after all. I work hard. That is the most important thing you can do in life."
Eto'o has scored eight goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season since joining from Anzhi Makhachkala on a free transfer.