City make 'stratospheric' Eto'o bid

MANCHESTER City have made a staggering offer to Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o which would make the Cameroon international the highest-paid player in Britain.

Reports suggest the Barclays Premier League club have made a 25million bid to the European champions and have already been in contact with Eto'o, who is keen to move to Eastlands. The deal would see him become one of the best-paid players in the world, second perhaps only to Cristiano Ronaldo when the Manchester United winger completes his 80m switch to Real Madrid.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is already resigned to losing his star striker, saying that he believes the temptation of a mega salary in England would prove too much for Eto'o to turn down.

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"Eto'o has a stratospheric offer from City, which would convert him into the best paid player in the world," he told Catalan radio station iCat FM. "It's starting to become clear that he has this monster offer.

"He wants to stay but an offer like this is very difficult to refuse. If Eto'o accepts this stratospheric offer we will have to bring in someone."

Eto'o contributed 36 goals last season as Barca claimed an unprecedented Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble, scoring the opening goal in the 2-0 Champions League final victory over holders Manchester United.

Speculation has been rife about where the 28-year-old will be next season as, with his contract set to expire next summer, Barca were eager to either tie him to a new deal or cash in.

Eto'o began his career in Spain with Real Madrid in 1997, moving to Mallorca in 2000 where he spent four seasons, scoring 48 goals in 120 appearances, before heading for Barcelona,

City, owned by Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, have quickly, even by the standards of the English Premier, begun to spend huge sums of money. They have already this summer signed England midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa for 12m and paid Blackburn Rovers around 17m for their striker Roque Santa Cruz for next season.

City have also been linked with a 25m bid for Carlos Tevez from Manchester rivals United, and bid around 100m for Kaka in January. However, the Brazilian international decided to stay at AC Milan and recently joined Real Madrid.

Barcelona are reportedly interested in Valencia forward David Villa, who wants to stay in Spain, while Laporta said a deal for the 20-year-old Keirrison of Palmeiras was close to being agreed.