Madrid - Barcelona are considering keeping Samuel Eto'o, instead of selling him, Catalan dailies Sport and Mundo Deportivo reported Monday.
Five weeks ago new coach Josep Guardiola made it clear at his presentation that he didn't want either Eto'o or Ronaldinho in his squad.
The implication was that the pair were partly responsible for Barca's recent problems, the Cameroonian with his explosive declarations to the media and the Brazilian because of his allegedly unprofessional nightlife.
Ronaldinho was sold to AC Milan in July. Eto'o was also placed on the transfer list, but few interesting offers have been received for him.
In addition, the Cameroon hitman is in excellent form right now, as he proved on Sunday with his two goals in the 5-2 defeat in Chicago of Mexican team Chivas.
Eto'o, 26, has impressed Guardiola with his hard work in training and with his sharpness on the field, to such an extent that Barca may now call off their search for a new number nine - and take Eto'o off the transfer list.
Barca signed Eto'o from Mallorca in 2004 and the African was instrumental in the Catalans winning two Ligas, plus the Champions League in 2006.
However, he fell out with coach Frank Rijkaard and became unpopular with the Barca fans in April 2008 when it appeared that he deliberately picked up a fourth yellow card in order to miss the game away to champions Real Madrid, who promptly thrashed Barca 4-1. (dpa)