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Eto'o set to snub City and stay at Barca

MANCHESTER CITY&rsquo;S audacious bid for Samuel Eto&rsquo;o hit the buffers yesterday when the Cameroon striker indicated he would snub a world record pay packet and see out his contract at Barcelona.<br /><br />The Spanish club on Sunday admitted they were struggling to hold onto Eto&rsquo;o in the face of a &ldquo;stratospheric&rdquo; &pound;25m bid from City, who have also offered to pay the 28-year-old in the region of &pound;180,000 per week after tax.<br /><br />But the former African Player of the Year, who scored in last month&rsquo;s Champions League final against Manchester United, is planning to reject City&rsquo;s advances and stay with the European Cup winners.<br /><br />&ldquo;If there is not a 180-degree turnaround then he will stay with Barcelona,&rdquo; Eto&rsquo;o&rsquo;s agent Josep Maria Mesalles said yesterday. Mesalles is expected to hold a press conference today where Eto&rsquo;o&rsquo;s future will be covered in more detail.<br /><br />Despite their public declarations to the contrary, Barcelona are said to be more than willing to sell the temperamental forward, since he will be able to leave for nothing next summer.<br /><br />Eto&rsquo;o is unhappy with his treatment, according to reports in Spain, and is likely to have a wider range of suitors to choose from as a free agent in 12 months&rsquo; time.<br /><br />City had hoped Eto&rsquo;o would become their biggest transfer coup yet, and follow the widely expected arrival of &pound;25m striker Carlos Tevez from Manchester United this week. <br /><br />The super-rich Eastlands outfit have already beaten Liverpool to &pound;12m England midfielder Gareth Barry and spent &pound;18m on Blackburn forward Roque Santa Cruz.