Man City want to build global profile around Eto'o

Manchester City hope to convince Barcelona ace Samuel Eto'o to forget Champions League football and become their prime star as they plan a global push.

Manchester City hope to convince Barcelona ace Samuel Eto'o to forget Champions League football and become their prime star as they plan a global push.

The Manchester Evening News says City's owners hope to give the club a "cult" following in the Middle East and then roll out the brand to the rest of the planet, focusing specifically on Asia and Africa.

Eto'o is revered throughout Africa as the only man to have been named African Footballer of the Year three times.

And City, as well as landing a top player, see him as a great marketing tool.

Blues officials have already spoken to Barcelona about a possible £30m signing, though it is understood that reports of the player wanting a staggering £320,000-a-week wage are wildly exaggerated.

"You have to look at Asia and Africa," said City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak.

"These are markets which are growing and where there is a tremendous football base.

"These are markets where if you position yourself well enough, you have an opportunity to really capture.

"In Europe there is a traditional football market. But you go to Asia and Africa and you have a good opportunity to build on your base and their huge populations.

But the first phase of City's expansion is to try to make the Blues big in the Middle East. Al Mubarak said: "I am very confident that over the next two seasons we will be very big in the Middle East."

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