Laporta saddened by Eto'o saga
Barca president disappointed with how Eto'o situation has unfolded
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: July 2, 2009 12:10pm
Laporta: Saddened and disappointed
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has expressed his sadness at how the saga over Samuel Eto'o's future has unfolded.
The 28-year-old has been the subject of a £25million bid from Manchester City this week but Laporta was keen to reiterate that the striker was still in manager Pep Guardiola's plans.
The Barca chief has offered the Cameroon international a new two-year contract on the same terms, with the player thought to have been keen to remain with the Catalan giants.
However, Eto'o's agent, Josep Maria Messalles, went public with his disgust at how poorly Barca had treated his client - insisting that Laporta had told him the front-man was surplus to requirements at Camp Nou on two separate occasions.
The fall-out could result in Eto'o opting to join City this summer instead of what was initially thought to be his preferred option of allowing his current contract at Barca to run down, to ensure he could leave on a free transfer next summer.
"His representative and Samuel have said that he wants to continue and the club have offered him a contract renewal with the same conditions that he had, which we believe are very good," Laporta told radio station Cadena Cope.
"I think that what his representative is doing is not helping Samuel. It's a mistake to take the debate in the media. It's not doing the player any favours.
"Personally this matter has left me a little disappointed, it saddens me because I hold Eto'o in high esteem."
With the player's future seemingly hanging in the balance Laporta is hopeful that Eto'o, who scored an incredible 36 goals last term, will remain at the club.
"I would like, in the same way as I've said up until now he has given a lot to Barca, that he reflects on what Barca have given him," he added.
"I will do everything possible to find the best solution for the club and for Eto'o. It would be best for both parties."