The Best Club or the Richest Club?: Samuel Eto'o Faces a Test of Morals
With the three biggest transfer sagas of recent times being wrapped up early on in this summer's window, it was up to players not named Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, or Gareth Barry to take up the mantle.
This year's class seems to consist of Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso (again), and Carlos Tevez.
However, the latest transfer saga to plague the football world, and the one making all the headlines at the moment, is that of Samuel Eto'o's proposed move to Manchester City.
The Cameroonian striker currently has one year left on his contract with Barcelona, and speculation over his future grew amid rumours that Barcelona were happy to let him go.
This led to Manchester City's ambitious owners, who have already captured the signings of Barry and Roque Santa Cruz, making a £25 million offer for the striker.
While £25 million may seem like a relatively small amount for a player of Eto'o's calibre, it must be remembered that he is in the final year of his contract, and if nothing is agreed this summer, he could be available for free next year.
Still, £25 million is fantastic value, and while I have been critical of teams like Man City and in particular Chelsea overspending on players in the past, I think that would be a bargain considering the astronomical figures being thrown about nowadays.
Where the figures get ludicrous, however, is in the wage department, with Eto'o reportedly being offered up to £250,000 a week in wages. That's £13 million a year.
It would, of course, be hard to resist that sort of money. I would not begrudge Eto'o for accepting it, but I do begrudge Man City offering it.
Another offer, however, is reportedly on the table for Eto'o. His current club, Barcelona, have offered him a new two-year deal on the same terms as he is currently on.
The dilemma for Eto'o, then, is what he values most: money or trophies.
While Man City's ambition is clear to see through the signings they have made and the money they have spent, even the most optimistic of fans would know that they won't be able to assemble a team of Barcelona's quality in the foreseeable future.
Barcelona have just completed one of the greatest seasons ever seen from a club side, winning the treble and scoring an enormous number of goals in the process, most of which came from the front three, the best attacking force in the world.
If Eto'o moves to City, he may have Robinho and Santa Cruz to link up with, but nothing can compare with Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry.
If he stays with Barcelona, he is likely to pick up more trophies. A team of that quality cannot fail to pick up some more silverware as long as they're together.
However, at Manchester City, he is less likely to pick up that silverware.
It is widely believed that if City are to become a force in the Premier League, it will take them at least two seasons to do so, by which time Eto'o will be 30.
Another two years or so to get into or solidify a Champions League spot would mean that by the time Manchester City even have a chance to compete on the same level as Barcelona, Eto'o will be contemplating retirement.
Gareth Barry's move to Eastlands had some sort of logic behind it. He supposedly believed that City were going to progress faster than Aston Villa.
Roque Santa Cruz's move made good sense. He moved from a club on the slide to a club on the rise.
Samuel Eto'o's move, however, would surely be due to the sheer size of the figures quoted.
Why join a club with the potential to be good when you're already at a club who are great?
Why join a club who have potential to be one of the best in the Premier League when you're already at a club who are the best in the world?
It seems that Eto'o would favour staying at Barcelona, and the new contract on the table makes that seem even more likely, but anything can happen in football.
Who will he choose:
The richest club or the best club?
The money or the glory?
Manchester City or Barcelona?
Quiz Question No. 9:
Samuel Eto'o is one of just two players to have scored in two Champions League finals. Who is the other? (This refers to the Champions League era.)
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