Eto'o: The Witch & The Wardrobe
Vital Manchester City regular, Sinbad sent us the following...
The Eto'o saga is rolling on. But is most of it fantasy or is it based on facts?
Eto'o is one of the world's finest footballers and likely the most consistent goal scorer. City have simply made him a very good offer. He is thinking about it. It is a big decision for him to make, either way.
But I think to assume that he is putting off a decision so that he gets more cash from Barcelona is only a small part of the cause for delay. Why? Because it isn't just his decision is it?
We're told that Barcelona were prepared to sell him. There is some truth to that otherwise why have City made an offer? But they have NOT said that they will sell him under any circumstances.
I think we're missing something here. We're assuming it is Eto'o who is holding things up. We have no hard facts to back that up. In fact we've probably got evidence to the contrary.
The whole speculation about Eto'o coming to City only gained credibility when the Press started to say that Barcelona would need to sell Eto'o so that they could buy David Villa; they'd made a £35M offer and so on. Then there was talk of Barcelona going for Ribery.
To be frank I don't think any one party in these negotiations is holding up a decision. We only feel that way because we assumed the 'press conference' would contain an announcement. What evidence did we have to think there would be an announcement? None.
So when we get no announcement we then start to question all the parties in the negotiation. None of which ever said there was an announcement going to be made. The only people talking about announcements, or dates of announcements, are the Press and fans.
Some of us go so far as to call for City to back out of the negotiations because they think it will end up in embarrassment -- like with Kaka. It may, but what evidence is there that it will? None.
My view is simple. Barcelona want offers for Eto'o to be confirmed so that they know they can afford to chase Villa, Ribery and who knows who else.
So Barca are in negotiations to buy these other players. Unfortunately, their clubs are reluctant to sell. Sound familiar? So the Catalans need to have a contingency plan. They make Eto'o an offer of a contract extension, but for only 2 years. A logical contingency from the club's point of view.
But Eto'o feels he is piggy in the middle. He thought they were going to sell him. Now they can't because they will only let him go when they have a replacement. He says, okay but it'll cost you. If you want an extension then I want a signing on fee.
Eto'o is responding to circumstances beyond his control. He probably thinks that Barcelona have wound him up to expect all this great salary increase from City, but they are now stalling. He's right, isn't he? Barca are stalling.
It is true they want to sell Eto'o but they can't until they get a decision from the clubs and players they are chasing themselves. Until they get their purchases sorted they will not sell.
It's like when you're moving house. You don't sell your own house until you've had your offer accepted on the house you are moving to. It's just a chain. And that's why the big 'Press Conference' answered none of the questions. And why Eto'o has to keep the door open to stay with Barcelona.
But if Barcelona get agreement on Villa and/or Ribery and/or Santa Claus -- then Eto'o will be a City player in days because all the commercials have been set up. Simples.