Pep gives blessing to Eto'o deal
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola feels it would be best for the club if Samuel Eto'o leaves the Nou Camp. Eto'o is set for talks with Inter Milan after the two clubs agreed a fee of €45m plus the Cameroon striker for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alexander Hleb will also join Inter on loan. And Guardiola believes it is the right move for the Catalan giants.
"I am convinced that the best thing for Barça is for Eto'o to leave," he said. "Could I be mistaken? Maybe so. But I am here to make these decisions.
"I feel it is the best for the team, for the club, but I don't dare say for Samuel. I am very grateful to Samuel, not just for this year, but for the five years he spent here," he said. "We'll see how the situation ends."
Speculation has been rife since the end of the last campaign that Guardiola, who transfer-listed Eto'o last summer, was not keen on the Cameroon international. The treble-winning coach confirmed he feels Eto'o has to go, but insists it has nothing to do with personal issues but simply a need to shake up the dressing room.
"Without him we wouldn't have achieved what we achieved last year," said Guardiola. "There are no footballing or personal reasons or anything about his behaviour. It's simply a question of 'feeling', and that's how I feel.
"I think you have to change things. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's my responsibility. It's my decision.
"There are no behavioural reasons, you shouldn't look for them," he said. "I am not here to change anyone's character, but I can decide on which players I want to count on for the season. After what we won, we had to change the dressing room. I took this decision from my experience as a footballer."
Barça president Joan Laporta acknowledged earlier that he did not know what would happen if Eto'o decided not to move to the San Siro. However, Guardiola claims that if the player remained on Barça's books they would end their attempt to sign Ibrahimovic.
"Each player has his own situation and today, apart from Madrid who have brought in everyone, the world is as it is because it costs a lot to sign players," he said. "What will happen in the next few days no one knows.
"We are rich, but not so much. They are two very important players and to have 'overbooking' in such an important position is not good in the long term. I can't let this situation come about.
"I have not spoken to him [Eto'o], there are other people in charge who are used to doing so. Does he feel betrayed? I hope not. You don't know what will happen and, who knows, he could still be with us in training on the 27th."