Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims he is having trouble getting in contact with Samuel Eto'o to resolve his future.

Eto'o has only one year left on his existing contract with Barca and where he will be plying his trade next season has been the subject of intense speculation over the last few weeks.

Barca insist they are keen to keep the prolific hitman and have offered him a two-year deal, but the 28-year-old has also attracted interest from elsewhere with Laporta revealing last month that Manchester City had made a "stratospheric" contract offer to the player.

There has been no recent news on Eto'o's situation though, and Laporta claims he has not been able to speak to the former Real Mallorca and Real Madrid striker.

"I've called him a couple of times, but he hasn't picked up the phone. I don't know if he has changed his number or what," Laporta was quoted as saying on TVE's '59 segundos' programme late last night.

"The situation has saddened me because we've always had a clear and direct relationship. We offered him two years and we're waiting for his answer. I would like to be able to talk to him calmly."

Meanwhile, Laporta insisted his side's lack of transfer activity so far this summer is nothing to panic about.

While arch rivals Real Madrid have already splashed out close to £200million on Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol, things have been much quieter at the Nou Camp.

Although they have been linked with a host of players, including David Villa, Franck Ribery, Javier Mascherano and Filipe Luis, Barca have yet to dip into the transfer market.

Laporta confirmed they are looking at strengthening the squad that won the treble last season but insists he is "calm" about the lack of new faces so far.

"We need a few small finishing touches: a left-back, a centre-back, a midfielder and a striker," he said.

"We already have a very competitive team, young and of high quality."

Two of the biggest names that Barca are looking at are Valencia hitman Villa and Bayern Munich winger Ribery, although neither player will come cheap.

On Villa, Laporta said: "He is a player who interests us, for whom we have made an offer. The offer is very good, but it's not for 50 or 60milllion euros, it's closer to 40."

Regarding Ribery, who Bayern have reportedly slapped an 80million euros price tag on, Laporta said: "He is a player who interests us at a logical price. Bayern do not want to sell him, although they already know to let us know if they do think about selling him."

Laporta was also asked about Madrid's world-record £80million signing Cristiano Ronaldo, to which the Barca president insisted he would rather have Lionel Messi.

"(Ronaldo) is a great professional and, but me I like Messi more," he said.

"I'm convinced he (Messi) is the best player ever. He is very happy at Barca, he is the emblem of the club and it's natural leader. We are delighted with him. He is incredible, great...priceless."

No comments: