Barcelona look set to make a last ditch attempt to win the race for Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor by offering £8m cash plus Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o.
Barcelona have been vying with AC Milan for the 24-year-old, who was the Gunners’ top scorer last season with 30 goals. Arsenal resisted initial interest in the muscular Togo forward but appear to have accepted that the player wants to leave and are reported to have lowered their asking price.
Neither Milan nor Barcelona have yet agreed a fee with Arsenal, but, as the new season looms, reports in Spain claim the Catalan club are preparing a final offer in an attempt to wrap up the deal.
Barcelona are said to be willing to pay €10m (£8m) and allow former African player of the year Eto’o to move to the Emirates. The 27-year-old, who scored against Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final, is surplus to requirements after four seasons at Camp Nou. Despite scoring 91 goals in 135 appearances, Eto’o is part of the old guard being swept aside by new manager Josep Guardiola. Concerns over knee injuries and his volatile temperament are also thought to have persuaded Barca to sell the former Real Mallorca player.
Wenger is reportedly lining up replacements for Adebayor, with Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz and Ajax’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar strongly linked. Eto’o would be a ready-made successor of the highest order, but Wenger may be deterred by the same factors as his current club. Should Wenger reject Eto’o as part of any deal, Barcelona will be forced to offer a straight cash deal – which they could struggle to finance until they offload Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian playmaker is Milan’s other main target, along with Adebayor, but the Italian giants have stated they will sign only one of the two. Manchester City are also interested in Ronaldinho, and reports in Spain last night claimed he could be about to stun Milan by choosing Eastlands over the San Siro.