Martinez hints at Samuel Eto'o Everton departure, U.S. a rumoured destination

Samuel Eto'o could be set to leave Everton just five months after arriving, according to manager Roberto Martinez, with Italy or possibly the United States his new home.

Martinez left the striker out of his squad for Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay at West Ham, which the Toffees lost 9-8 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

The manager told a news conference after the game that "a couple of clubs" are interested in signing Eto'o in the January transfer window and refused to rule out a sale.

"A couple of clubs contacted us in the last 12 hours, so I decided to leave him out. We will see what is best for all of us," said Martinez.

Serie A club Sampdoria appear to have the inside track on the Cameroon striker, but Eto'o has also been offered to several U.S.-based clubs with no takers thus far, according to multiple sources.

The Seattle Sounders expressed interest in Eto'o, but were unable to accommodate him because they are at the limit of three designated players. Other MLS teams rejected Eto'o because of salary considerations and other factors.

The New York Cosmos of the NASL continue to be involved in a give-and-take negotiation with Eto'o's representatives, but their salary offers have so far fallen well below his demands.

"The Cosmos would have to get very creative to bring the wages up to something (Eto'o) would be comfortable with," a source close to the negotiations said.

"MLS teams have either turned him down or they haven't responded, probably because they have been concentrating on the combine. They also know there is a good chance Sampdoria could put in a better offer."

Sources described a possible scenario where the Cosmos could attract Eto'o in an arrangement in which he plays for them and then goes to a team with rich owners in Asia or the Middle East.

Eto'o joined Everton in August, signing a two-year contract as a free agent after being released by Chelsea at the end of last season.

The 33-year-old has been linked with Sampdoria in recent days, although their manager Sinisa Mihajlovic denied those reports, with Martinez following suit at a news conference on Monday.

However, Eto'o's agent Claudio Vigorelli told Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday that a move to Sampdoria was still a possibility.

Vigorelli said: "The only uncertainty is the salary, but I am optimistic. We will continue working towards coming to Sampdoria."

Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti has also been quoted as expressing an interest in Eto'o, who played for the club between 2009 and 2011.

Zanetti told Sky Sports Italia on Monday: "He did some extraordinary things with us, and now he wants to come back to Italy. His return in Serie A would be most welcome."