Samuel Eto’o will sign for Barcelona after Real Madrid decided not to take up their option on the Real Mallorca striker, the Catalan club have confirmed.
“The Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o will be presented at 1900 local time as a new Barcelona player,” the club said on its website.
“He’s a young, but experienced player who has performed exceptionally well for both Mallorca and his country,” said Barcelona captain Carles Puyol.
According to reports, Barca will pay a fee of about 24m euros for the 23-year-old African Player of the Year, who is co-owned by Mallorca and Real Madrid.
Real were reported to be keen to use Eto’o as part of a deal to sign Liverpool striker Michael Owen but the Cameroon player’s insistence on joining the Catalan club gave them little option but to accept the move.
Eto’o is the seventh player to join Barca since the end of last season and brings their total spending on new recruits to over 60m euros.
Portugal playmaker Deco, Sweden striker Henrik Larsson, French midfielder Ludovic Giuly and Brazilian defenders Juliano Belletti, Silvinho and Edmilson are the other new additions to Frank Rijkaard’s squad.
Eto’o was signed by Real Madrid as a 16-year-old in 1997 but loaned out to Leganes and then Mallorca.