Eto'o and Hleb near Inter Milan moves

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The Independent Online

Samuel Eto'o is putting the final touches on his move to Inter Milan and Alexander Hleb's agent is confident his client will be joining the Cameroon frontman at the San Siro.

Barcelona agreed a fee with Inter last week of 45million euros (£40m) plus Eto'o for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a deal which will also see Hleb join the Serie A side on loan.

The Belarus midfielder threatened to scupper the deal when he revealed he wanted to remain at the Nou Camp but Maurizio Gaudino is optimistic he will join Eto'o at Inter.

"Today I'm not going to Barcelona," he told Calciomercato.it. "I have just come back to Germany and at around 4pm or 4.30pm I'll talk to the Catalan club's management to find an agreement with them.

"With Inter everything's okay. There's one or two details to sort out with Barca, I can't say any more.

"There's optimism, even if in football there are no certainties.

"This evening there could be important news."

Eto'o and Ibrahimovic are currently undergoing medicals at their prospective clubs and Barca have announced that the Sweden striker could be presented at 6.30pm local time.

Eto'o is delighted to have all but signed for Inter and, having won the Champions League three times at Real Madrid and Barca, has vowed to repeat his European success with his new club.

"I'm very happy to finally have arrived in Milan," he said when he landed this morning. "For me this is a new adventure and I really want to make the very most of everything.

"I'm starting a new life and I hope it brings happiness and success.

"My first aim will be to win the Champions League."

Eto'o also praised his new team-mates who beat bitter rivals AC Milan 2-0 in a pre-season friendly last night.

"I learnt that they won the derby in America," added the Cameroon international. "I am very happy for this important success."

Meanwhile, Inter president Massimo Moratti has revealed the reasons behind the decision to sell Ibrahimovic to the treble winners and is delighted with the money the Nerazzurri are set to make from the deal.

Many fans are dismayed that the club are selling Ibrahimovic, last year's leading goalscorer in Serie A, but Moratti insists they are simply giving in to the player's wishes

"More than once in the last few months he has shown his desire to change clubs," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It wasn't forced, he told us that he saw his career developing elsewhere.

"We're talking about someone rather indifferent on a sentimental level, a professional."

Ibrahimovic's agent claimed recently the player had been thinking of a move to Barca for over a year, but Moratti refused to be drawn.

"If that is true I must say he did an incredible job at not letting it out," continued the Inter chief.

"I don't think anyone could have guessed his desire was away from Inter given he's leaving as the league top scorer.

"We are all thankful for what Ibra has done for us over the years."

Moratti feels that the deal is of mutual benefit to both Inter and Barca, and has reassured fans that the only reason Eto'o cost so little was because he has a single year left on his contract with the Catalans.

"It seems to me an intelligent move by Barcelona to begin new paths," he added. "And for Inter we're talking about a positive deal also in the financial sense.

"You have to bear in mind that Eto'o's value as a player is not that of his low transfer value.

"It was great business for both. I can't recall a deal of this level between European clubs."

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