Manchester City looked to have failed in their audacious bid to sign Samuel Eto’o, after the player’s representatives informed the club he had chosen to stay with Barcelona.
Eto’o wants to remain at Camp Nou even though the European Cup winners have made it clear they were happy to accept what their president, Joan Laporta, described over the weekend as a “stratospheric” and “monster” £25.5m bid from City.
The Cameroon striker has misgivings about joining a club who are not even involved in the Europa League and he is willing to resist the offer of a salary of £180,000 a week.
Eto’o’s agent, Jose Maria Mesalles, is expected to explain his client’s motives at a press conference on Wednesday.
Eto’o has decided he can wait until his contract expires next summer and he can leave on a free transfer.
“If there is not a 180-degree turnaround, then he will stay with Barcelona,” Mesalles confirmed.
That represents a significant setback to City’s ambitions after they had already signed Roque Santa Cruz and Gareth Barry for a combined £30m as well as putting in place a £25.5m deal for Carlos Tevez and targeting the Everton defender Joleon Lescott for a potential £15m-20m.