Manchester City are ready to flex their muscles in the summer transfer window with a sensational £55million double swoop for Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o and Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero.
City had opened tentative discussions with Inter over a possible swap involving Carlos Tevez and Eto'o last month but that was abandoned as figures, including the wage demands of the Cameroon striker, got too high.
However the latest step in the long-running saga involves an £18m transfer fee which is completely independent of Tevez, and Eto'o is keen to talk.
Summer splurge: Sergio Aguero and Samuel Eto'o could be next through the Etihad Stadium entrance
The two-time Champions League winner hopes to secure one final big contract before his stock begins to drop as he gets older, and was unimpressed when he held discussions with Inter president Massimo Moratti about improving his current deal. He wants a further two years with a salary to match City's offer.
The Eastlands outfit are wary having been in a similar position before when Eto'o left Barcelona, but have been assured he is more serious about the move this time.
Eto'o scored 21 goals in Serie A last season for a struggling Inter outfit and having won all that there is to in Spain and Italy, he would welcome a new challenge.
Last month, he said: 'It is true that I have a few offers, I have a month off now to evaluate all of them and decide what to do. I’m 30, I’m close to my final big contract and we’ll have to see whether I should stay or go.
'My eventual departure is not to try to earn 100,000 or 200,000 euros more. What matters in my career is being happy in a city, playing for a big club where I can enjoy myself.'
Flying high: City secured a a stunning £400m deal involving the naming rights of their stadium and their shirt sponsor
The transfers will be the first major piece of business for the club following the announcement they were set for a £400m windfall from selling the naming rights to their stadium and extending a shirt sponsorship deal with Etihad.
Meanwhile City's pursuit of Aguero appears more difficult. The club have so far rejected talk they are in for the Argentine, who is also wanted by Real Madrid.
Yet after it emerged Juventus had offered Atletico Madrid £32.5m for Diego Maradona's son-in-law, the Spanish club claimed City had already bid £4.5m more. That in turn has forced Juve to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements and they are now expected to challenge Tottenham for the signature of Villarreal's Giuseppe Rossi.
Aguero is seen as a natural replacement for Tevez although City still want £50m for their Argentinian talisman.
Out with the old: Aguero is seen as a direct replacement for international team-mate Tevez who wants out of City
Tevez rocked City in June by demanding he be allowed to end his stay for the sake of his family.
Tevez, who was City's top-scorer last season as they qualified for the Champions League for the first time, issued a statement to Sportsmail explaining his wish to leave the club.
Family man: Tevez wants to move to a club where is family would be settled
It said: 'It is with great regret that I have to inform Manchester City of my wish to leave the club. I would like to state that I have great respect for the club, its supporters and the owner, Sheik Mansoor, who has been nothing other than respectful to me.
'I hope that the people understand the difficult circumstances I have been living under the past 12 months, in regards to my family.
'Living without my children in Manchester has been incredibly challenging for me. Everything I do, I do for my daughters, Katie and Florencia. I need to be closer to them and to spend more time with them.
'I need them to be happy because my life is about them now. I need to be in a place where they can adapt. Being captain of Manchester City, qualifying for the Champions League, winning the FA Cup and finishing as top-scorer last season has made me very proud.
'I hope that most of the City fans will understand that I have given them my all on the pitch and that my dedication to the city cause has been 100 per cent on the pitch.
'I hope I have done my bit to help City continue their progress towards their ambition to be champions of England and to advance in the Champions League. I have no doubt that the players and management of City will achieve great success in the future.'
Another player who could be heading through the Etihad Stadium's entrance is Samir Nasri. Reports late on Thursday suggested City and Arsenal had reached a deal that would see the Frenchman follow Gael Clichy to the club for a fee of £23m.Original here