Manchester City insist a meeting with Barcelona president Joan Laporta had nothing to do with talks for Samuel Eto'o.

Clearly it would be folly for City to rule out a move for a player who has long been viewed as one of the best forwards in the world and will be a key figure in Barcelona's attempt to overcome Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final.

But City officials are slightly irritated that Eto'o's name has figured so prominently in speculation about the chat between Laporta and Blues chief executive Garry Cook.

They argue that while relations between clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea and major European rivals are well established, City are very much still in a getting-to-know-you process.