City and Inter start talks over Tevez and Eto'o swap
Manchester City and Inter Milan will hold talks over a swap deal involving Carlos Tevez and Samuel Eto'o this weekend.
Both clubs are in Ireland for the Dublin Super Cup pre-season competition, which also involves Celtic. City and Inter will meet tomorrow.
It is understood that the deal being proposed is a straight swap -- valuing each player at around £40m -- with City keen to offload Tevez, who wants to leave, after signing Sergio Aguero for £38m from Atletico Madrid as his replacement.
Their wages are thought to be comparable.
Ironically, City had hoped to pair Tevez and Eto'o as their strike force two years ago. They signed Tevez but failed to land Eto'o after becoming frustrated with negotiations.
The club pulled out of talks with Barcelona, and chief executive Garry Cook made a public statement.
The Cameroon striker then tried to resurrect the deal before he eventually moved to Inter, where he won the Champions League in his first season.
Eto'o (30) is now believed to want to move to City and secure one final big contract before the end of his career. Preliminary talks have been held between the two clubs over the phone in the last few days and it is hoped they will be formalised in Dublin this weekend.
City held tentative discussions earlier this summer about the swap deal but that was abandoned again because of Eto'o's demands. He has been trying to negotiate a new deal at Inter, without success, and is open to the move.
Despite a difficult campaign last season, Eto'o scored 21 goals while Tevez was the Premier League's joint top scorer.
Tevez was close to securing a transfer back to South America, rejoining the Brazilian club Corinthians, but that collapsed. Corinthians ran out of time as the South American transfer window closed and there was dispute over the payments after a fee of £40m was close to being agreed.
Inter have been one of three European clubs who have expressed an interest in Tevez, along with Juventus and Real Madrid, and it is thought that the player's adviser, Kia Joorabchian, flew to Italy this week to see whether a deal was possible.
City had said they would not sell Tevez to a European club for less than £50m but that is negotiable given the urgency for him to go and the possibility of Eto'o arriving.
Tevez (27) cited a desire to be closer to his wife and two daughters as the reason for wanting to quit City this summer, having already submitted a transfer request at the end of last year.
He had hoped that meant a move to Corinthians but it is believed that he would regard moving to Italy, and living in Milan, as a compromise that would persuade his wife, Vanessa, to spend more time in Europe.
Eto'o would expect to partner Aguero in a new-look City attack as they attempt to win the Premier League next season.
It means, however, that City also now have to concentrate their efforts on trying to off-load Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy.
Tottenham Hotspur want to sign Adebayor but also want City to heavily subsidise his wages.
Real have pulled out of any move, for now, having in principle agreed to sign Neymar -- who was wanted by Chelsea -- from the Brazilian club Santos in January.
City have also yet to decide whether to sell, or possibly loan, winger Adam Johnson, who appears to have fallen out of favour with manager Roberto Mancini.
Chelsea made an inquiry over Johnson's availability but that interest has been put on hold as new manager Andre Villas-Boas assesses his options, especially as he has little room for manoeuvre in his squad without moving on some senior players.
Yesterday Villas-Boas said that he felt City's transfer dealings meant it was "pretty clear" they were genuine title contenders.
"They are building a squad and making good signings and they can threaten for the League as well. Aguero will do well, I think." (© Daily Telegraph, London)