x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

City will not buy Robben

Manchester City rule out signing Arjen Robben from Real Madrid, but media reports link the club with Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o.

Manchester City last night ruled out the prospect of a move for Real Madrid's Dutch winger Arjen Robben on the same day media reports claimed the English Premier League club had made a £25 million (Dh151.3m) bid for the Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o. A spokesman for City refused to comment on the Eto'o offer, but dismissed stories in the popular press in the UK that claimed they were ready to table a £21m offer for Robben.

The Barcelona president Joan Laporta told a Spanish radio station that the Cameroon striker Eto'o would become the best paid player in the world if he accepted an offer to join City. "Eto'o has a stratospheric offer from City, which would convert him into the best paid player in the world," Laporta said. "It's starting to become clear that he has this monster offer. "If Eto'o accepts this stratospheric offer we will have to bring in someone."

Eto'o scored 36 goals last season during Barca's historic Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble-winning campaign. The Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez has also been strongly linked with a move to City. Meanwhile, Fernando Torres has revealed that he recommended the names of three Spanish compatriots to Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. The Spain striker believes the Reds need "small players with quality" to wrest the Premier League title from Manchester United and would like Benitez to sign David Silva, Juan Mata or David Villa from Valencia.

"English football is very difficult because it's very physical and played at a high tempo," Torres said. "We have a fantastic team to play against the big teams and we are competitive. "But against those teams lower down we are not good enough." dkane@thenational.ae