Manchester City will not go back to Samuel Eto'o with even more money to satisfy his demands for a slice of up to 50 per cent of his prospective £25m transfer fee from Barcelona, conditions that have ground his move to a halt.
Barcelona are keen to move the Cameroon international on to finance the purchase of David Villa from Valencia but Eto'o, aware that he has a strong bargaining position as he is out of contract at the end of the forthcoming season and may leave the Nou Camp for nothing, appears to be driving a hard bargain by asking for €15m (£12.7m) as a "signing-on fee".
It cannot be discounted that Eto'o is simply reluctant to leave the European champions for a middle ranking Premier League side. But City are understood to be philosophical about such player demands and do not consider the Eto'o deal to be dead.
City's chief executive Garry Cook is now leaving Barcelona and Eto'o to things out between themselves. The likelihood of the player moving to City will depend on how far, if at all, Barça president Joan Laporta is willing or able to accede to Eto'o's demands.
The Spanish side further complicated the picture yesterday by declaring that they had offered the player a two-year contract extension, which would keep him at the Nou Camp until 2012. But since Eto'o rejected their last contract offer, in April, because it offered no extra salary, and the new deal does not come with an increase either, the chances of the striker accepting this look slim.