Toiling in the Super League drop zone, Atiker Konyaspor snapped up Antalyaspor's Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o as the January transfer window closed yesterday.
This was Konyaspor's second high-profile signing in the current transfer window. In an apparent bid to revive its campaign, the club earlier landed Adis Jahovic from Super League newcomers, Göztepe. Meanwhile, Antalyaspor announced Tuesday that the club has parted ways with Eto'o.
"Our team has parted ways with our captain Samuel Eto'o under a mutual agreement," the club, which is also in the relegation zone, said in a statement. Eto'o, 36, joined Antalyaspor in 2015 after a short spell in Italy with Sampdoria. Konyaspor held a signing ceremony yesterday for the veteran striker, who was earlier given a warm welcome by fans at Konya airport. Eto'o enjoyed five hugely successful seasons with Barcelona from 2004 to 2009, winning a pair of Champions League titles and three La Liga crowns before departing for Inter Milan. He helped Jose Mourinho's team win the treble of Champions League, Serie A, and Coppa Italia during his first season in Italy before moving to Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala. He also had brief stints at Premier League sides, Chelsea and Everton. Even before arriving in Turkey, Eto'o became the subject of puns due to transfer rumors often linking him to different clubs in Turkey. The expression "Eto'o is done" went viral after a well-known sports presenter made unfounded claims on live TV that Eto'o was finally joining a Turkish club. The Turkish media has also used the expression to mean that Eto'o is a washed-up footballer.
Following his arrival in Turkey, however, Eto'o gained huge popularity with Antalyaspor, to the extent that a seed producing firm from the region named a brown tomato strain they developed after him. In other developments, Japan defender Yuto Nagatomo left Serie A powerhouse Inter Milan and signed with Galatasaray. The 31-year-old, who joined Inter from Cesena in January 2011, underwent a medical in Istanbul yesterday before he sealed the six-month loan deal hoping for more game time. The former FC Tokyo player who has 101 caps for Japan made just one appearance in Inter's last 10 league games.
According to several media outlets, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti revealed last week Nagatomo asked for more playing time as he tries to maintain his spot on the national squad ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia.