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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Barca bid for Eto'o
By Phil Minshull
BBC Sport, Spain

Real Mallorca's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o (left) and Edgar Davids
Samuel Eto'o takes on Barcelona for Real Mallorca last season

Spanish giants Barcelona have joined the race to sign Real Mallorca's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o.

"Yes, we have made an offer," Barca's technical director Txiki Begiristain confirmed to reporters at the unveiling of Swedish international Henrik Larsson.

Eto'o, the 2003 African Footballer of the Year, struck 17 goals in La Liga last season despite missing several weeks on 2004 Cup of Nations duty.

Barca are believed to view Eto'o, Larsson and Brazil's World Cup winner Ronaldinho as the ideal strike force to produce the goals that could recapture their glory days of the early 90s.

The Catalans won the old European Cup in 1992, and the Spanish title four years in a row but have not won a trophy in the last five years.

Last month, Begiristain apparently contacted Real Mallorca and was told that Eto'o was on the market and up for sale if the price was right.

Begiristain did not reveal how much he was prepared to pay, while Mallorca president Mateo Alemany said that he had yet to see an offer in writing.

"No concrete offer has been received," commented Alemany said.

"I have only heard indirect things through the media."

Eto'o made it clear on various occasions last season that he wants to leave Mallorca, citing their lack of ambition and inability to challenge for titles as his main reason for departing.

The 23-year-old has spent the last four-and-a-half years at the Balearic island club since joining from Real Madrid in January 2000.

Until Barca expressed an interest, fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid had seemed in pole position to secure the services of the Cameroonian.

However, Spanish sports daily Marca reported on Monday that the financially-troubled Atletico were having problems raising the money to buy Eto'o, despite a tentative agreement to pay Mallorca US$14.6 million.




SEE ALSO
Larsson joins Barcelona
30 Jun 04  |  Other European
Atletico after Eto'o
04 May 04  |  African
Eto'o joins the greats
04 May 04  |  African
Eto'o wins African award
30 Apr 04  |  African
Where now for Eto'o?
16 Apr 04  |  African



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