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Big spending Manchester City only finished 10th last season but are being well supported to finish in the top 4 after flashing the cash this summer.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made a dig at rivals Real Madrid after their extravagant spending in the summer transfer market.

The return of Florentino Perez to the Real presidency has sparked a flurry of transfer activity in Madrid with over €200 million spent on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.

“We make Ballon d’Or winners and others have to buy them. It’s fine by me that Real have bought Cristiano Ronaldo but at present Barcelona are the point of reference for everyone,” Laporta told Spanish state television.

“Real have erupted aggressively into the transfer market and distorted reality. We could go into debt like Madrid but it isn’t our way of operating.

“We already have a competitive team and all we want to do is to make some prudent investments.”

Laporta said coach Pep Guardiola has asked for reinforcements at full back, centreback, in midfield and a striker, and admitted the club were no nearer to resolving the future of Samuel Eto’o.

The Cameroon striker has been offered a two-year contract extension but has yet to respond, while Manchester City have enquired about his availability.

“I have called him a couple of times but he hasn’t answered his mobile,” Laporta said. “I don’t know if he has changed the number or whether he’s lost it, but I would like to speak to him.”

Barca have also been trying to sign Spain striker David Villa from Valencia

“There have been negotiations to find out his availability but we haven’t stated a time or money limit,” Laporta said.

“We have made an offer to (Valencia president) Manuel Llorente that is closer to €40 million than 50.”

Big spending Manchester City only finished 10th last season but are being well supported to finish in the top 4 after flashing the cash this summer.

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