Manchester City manager Mark Hughes said yesterday he will exercise as much patience as need be in an effort to secure the services of Samuel Eto’o.
But Hughes warned that he is prepared to pull the plug on the £25 million (US$41 million) transfer if he feels he is wasting his time trying to convince the Barcelona striker to sign.
Hughes, who has already spent a total of £30 million ahead of the new English Premier League season on Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry, confirmed City have made an offer for Eto’o.
But the deal is a long way from being concluded after Barcelona offered the Cameroon international a new two-year contract to remain with the Champions League winners.
Hughes said he accepted signing Eto’o was unlikely to be a quick exercise but he insisted he was ready to end talks if the saga dragged on.
“We have targeted players we think can help us and he’s [Eto’o] certainly someone we have a lot of respect for and we feel he can help us,” Hughes said.
“If we get to a situation where we feel that things aren’t going to happen and we feel the process is stalling and we can’t move it forward then that’s the time we walk away,” the former Manchester United striker said.
“There’s always an element of frustration when you can’t conclude deals very quickly, but we’ll give every deal the patience it deserves,” he said.
“We made an offer to Barcelona and now there seems to be a situation between the player and his club,” Hughes said. “We’re not involved in that. That needs to be resolved between the player and his club.”
“Patience has been mentioned and we’ll all have to be patient,” he said.
Hughes, armed with significant transfer funds from City’s Abu Dhabi owners, is also hoping to sign Carlos Tevez after the Argentina striker’s loan deal expired at Manchester United.
Tevez is available for around £25 million and Hughes said that he is a great fan of the player.
But he insisted that he was also targeting over areas of the team as he looks to mould a side capable of challenging for a Champions League spot.
“Carlos Tevez is another player I have huge admiration for,” Hughes said. “We’ll see what happens but at this stage it’s very early in our discussions with anybody.”
“There are other areas of the team we are looking to strengthen other than attack. We’re not about making moves in the transfer market to make statements about where we are. What we’re trying to do is build a squad that can be competitive and challenge at the top table,” the Welshman said.
“The only way we can do that is by being able to bring in top quality players,” he said. “We’re trying to build something that will make us successful in the future.”