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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.

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The journalist

Writer: Sinbad Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 30 2009

Time: 10:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
"Narnia! It's all in the wardrobe like I told you!"
Report Abuse
30/06/2009 22:15:00

Sinbad: You make a lot of sense. There is just one thing that is mystifying. Eto'o's lawyer was adamant that we have not approached his client. As such, he knew nothing of our interest other than Laporta broadcasting in the press that we have offered Eto'o a stratospheric deal. Now that was a shock.
City Girl
Report Abuse
30/06/2009 22:31:00

Then there's that gandalf and dobby the house elf and all that tripe. Sound assessment Sindbad.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
30/06/2009 22:33:00

GoGood one Sindbad! I agree that the evidence doesn't point to Eto'o holding things up. As I suggested earlier, 'Barça may themselves be winding it up to get more transfer fee. For them, at least, this IS all about money. Some words they're using, like 'stratospheric' are words that are in some way meant to flatter us, tell us we're VERY BIG. Wind us up.' I think that a given in all this is that when Barça have a replacement for him, they'll be glad to be shut of him. David Villa seems the logical choice with all the various circumstances on international view. Valencia broke etc. etc. Who really knows where the stumbling block is? E.g. Has Villa got dreams of playing with Ronaldo? I don't think any of us know the real answers. We're not at the coal face. Previously today, I said, 'Are we going to chance going right above valuation.. and risk embarrassment again a la Kaka? Or will Kal and the boys wind it all down?' Essentially, I was joking. I don't think that any of us can really be embarrassed any of these financial high jinks any more. OK, they're part of our world, but it's a fantasy world now. Platini is morally in the right to want Britain to be forced to come into line with the rest of Europe in terms of 'fairness' (clubs being 51% owned by locals), but it's not going to happen during Alistair Darling's watch, and Platini doesn't exactly endear himself to us with either his authoritarian messages or his general body language, as good as it might have been 20 years ago. I also agree with what City Girl had to say in the previous article. None of US have a crystal ball, and nearly all of THEM are quite bizarre people. I don't think any of us will lose either any faith or any sleep. We've imagined events like this taking place all our lives. Doors were really closed not so very long ago, but thanks to the speed and often the openness of communications now, we are able to communicate our thoughts to each other in ways we had no access to when Frannie was knocking them in. But now we have. The speed of people passing info of whatever quality around the world is lost on none of us. And that would include Samuel Eto'o and David Villa, and the entire football world. Nothing is lost. Eto'o knew of a City possibility before we did. David Villa knows that a goodly proportion of the internet is focused on him. They all know. They're subject to each other's manoeuvres. Sometimes they may even be manoevred by ours. The exchange of knowledge has always been a force to be reckoned with. Particular emails won't matter, although one in a million will get through all the smoke and mirrors. What will count is when a consensus reaches a critical point. I don't think that on this occasion any of this banter will get to that, remotely, but did any of you see how quickly the word 'Jackson' took over the whole twitter network after his death. In seconds it was worldwide. Amazing. They all know, and they've all known before us, what's on which table; and here we are, debating and commentating on a game resembling musical chairs. For a man who very dramatically, and very very slowly, slowly turned the radio down on 88 minutes, with his children in the room, during the Gillingham play-off, and didn't hear the result until much later that night, this is no more than normal run of the mill stuff. I think I'll leave you with that... for now... night night...
roy harper
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 00:13:00

Finally- a credible article to read about the subject- getting rather tired of the crap printed in the mirror! good job!
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 00:19:00

That didn't work either! Must be the mac... !
roy harper
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 00:45:00

Good article Sindbad ....I notice there are now claims that the offer was a fake ..........??????
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 02:03:00

roy mate, we can't put splits/ create paragraphs in our front page article posts. I've been frustrated by that before. It's a software thing. I think!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 06:40:00

Mark Hughes has now confirmed City have made an offer, but that we need to have patience as there are issues between Eto'o and Barca that City cannot impact upon. Sounds reasonable.
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 11:54:00

pls post that Hughes comments link sindbad
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 12:17:00

oh i didn't notice the article, i just saw hughes comments on Tevez and Ett'o
Report Abuse
01/07/2009 12:22:00


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