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Feb 28, 2012

Samba: Anzhi move not about money

Chris Samba believes that Anzhi Makhachkala could be the next Manchester City and insists his move to the club from Blackburn Rovers was driven by ambition and not money.

Despite doubling his wages to £100,000 a week as part of the £12 million transfer, the Congolese centre back insists it was the vision that the owners have for the club that convinced the 27-year-old to sign a four-year deal.

Former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink was appointed manager at Anzhi last week, taking charge of a squad that already features the world's highest-paid footballer in Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, with Roberto Carlos and Yuri Zhirkov also on board.

And Samba expects the side to push for European honours next season, with two further stunning signings lined up for this summer.

"They may be a little club, but they have ambition," Samba said. "This is a team with a realistic chance of playing at the highest level of European football. They have the ambition and the money. They have bought me for £12m - plus Roberto Carlos, Yuri Zhirkov and Samuel Eto'o.

"There will be more big names coming. I know of two which will surprise people that we will sign this summer. We'd like to do what Man City have done."

Despite ending his spell at Ewood Park under a cloud, former Blackburn skipper Samba hopes Steve Kean can keep the side in the Premier League this season.

"I don't want to have any regrets. I'm 27 and must look to make the most of my years," added Samba. "Of course I hope Rovers remain in the Premier League."

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