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Manchester United To Battle City For Barcelona Star Samuel Eto'o - Report

Manchester City have seemingly been joined by rivals Manchester United in the queue to persuade Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o to move to the Premier League, according to a local press report today.

With Roque Santa Cruz's move to Eastlands from Blackburn Rovers expected to be confirmed very shortly with the player undergoing a medical in Manchester, it was anticipated that Eto'o could be joining him in the City squad soon.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo's impending departure to Real Madrid, coupled with Carlos Tevez reportedly weighing up a move to either Chelsea or, again, City, United manager Alex Ferguson is apparently considering a shock move for Eto'o in order to boost his striking options, and possibly to regain the support of fans disappointed at the exits of Ronaldo and Tevez, as according to a report in The Manchester Evening News.

Barcelona have, according to the MEN, made it clear to Eto'o that any decision regarding his future could be made by the player himself, but the two Mancunian clubs are his only viable options. Eto'o recently rejected a new deal, believing he was worth an astronomical salary that the Catalans were not prepared to pay.

Both City and United have cash to match those wage demands, with the Sky Blues - backed by the fabulous wealth of the Abu Dhabi Group - perhaps possessing the edge in the financial stakes.

United also have a policy in place of only bringing in young players under the age of 26, but would be prepared to override that in Eto'o's case, with the striker being 28.

Ferguson's first choice is reportedly Lyon's Karim Benzema, but his agent revealed to British press sources last night that the striker would like to remain in France for one more year, in order to cement his place in his nation's World Cup squad.

Zack Wilson, Goal.com