Samuel Eto'o has agreed terms with Anzhi Makhachkala and is on the verge of joining the ambitious southern Russian club from Inter Milan, according to a Russian news report yesterday.
The LifeNews.ru website said the 30-year-old Cameroon striker had agreed the terms of his contract and would be signing the deal after passing a medical.
"The last formalities of the contract have been ironed out," the website quoted a Russian agent with knowledge of the situation as saying.
The website had earlier said Anzhi would be paying Inter a transfer fee of about €40 million (Dh212m) and the player €15m per season.
There was no official reaction from the club and the report did not specify the length of the contract. Anzhi were believed to have been offering Eto'o a three-year deal while the player was seeking four.
Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, had said on Wednesday that he was ready to consider an "interesting" offer for Eto'o from Anzhi.
Eto'o, a former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker, finished as Inter's top scorer last season and helped the club win the treble the year before. But the Serie A giants are said to be pushing to sell him to finance a bid for Manchester City's Carlos Tevez.
Makhachkala is the capital of Dagestan - one of Russia's most dangerous and unstable regions that sits to the east of the troubled Chechnya Republic.
But that has not stopped the Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos and the Russian international winger Yuri Zhirkov from joining the club. The club's players live and train in the Moscow region and fly in for home matches.
Yesterday, Russia's footballers expressed outrage after Zhirkov was heckled by fans of the national team over his move to the Muslim North Caucasus.
Zhirkov was whistled at almost every touch and pelted with a cigarette packet at an international friendly, in an apparent show of anger by hard core Moscow supporters over his departure from Chelsea to Anzhi.
"What upset me were the fans chanting unprintable words in Zhirkov's direction. I hope it doesn't happen again," said Pavel Pogrebnyak, the Russia striker who scored the only goal of the match against Serbia.
* Agence France-Presse