Laporta lashes out at cash-splashing Real

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MADRID - Barcelona president Joan Laporta has taken a swipe at arch-rivals Real Madrid for their multi-million euro spending spree that has dominated the headlines and the transfer market ahead of the treble-winners. The return of Florentino Perez to the Real presidency has sparked a flurry of activity in Madrid with over 200 million euros spent on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, while Barca's summer strengthening plans appear stalled.

"We make Ballon d'Or winners and others have to buy them. It's fine by me that Real have bought Cristiano Ronaldo but at present Barcelona are the point of reference for everyone," Laporta told Spanish state television.

"Real have erupted aggressively into the transfer market and distorted reality. We could go into debt like Madrid but it isn't our way of operating.

"We already have a competitive team and all we want to do is to make some prudent investments."

He said coach Pep Guardiola has asked for reinforcements at full back, centreback, in midfield and a striker, and admitted the club were no nearer to resolving the future of Samuel Eto'o.

The Cameroon striker has been offered a two-year contract extension but has yet to respond, while Manchester City have put in an offer for him.

"I have called him a couple of times but he hasn't answered his mobile," Laporta said. "I don't know if he has changed the number or whether he's lost it, but I would like to speak to him."

Barca have also been trying to land Spain striker David Villa from debt-ridden Valencia, who are distracted by a boardroom battle for control of the club.

"There have been negotiations to find out his availability but we haven't stated a time or money limit," Laporta said.

"We have made an offer to (Valencia president) Manuel Llorente that is closer to 40 million euros than 50."