City chief executive Garry Cook said: “The circumstances surrounding him were such that a deal couldn’t be completed.Eto’o is the second marquee player City have missed out on following Kaka’s decision not to sign in January.
City reportedly made a bid in the region of £100m for the Brazilian midfielder, but he opted to stay with AC Milan, before joining Real Madrid in a £60m transfer in June.
Reports suggested the Eastlands club told Eto’o he could earn wages of up to £250,000 per week, which would have made him the highest-paid player in the world.
But the transfer became bogged down in a contractual dispute between Eto’o and Barcelona, who has been offered a new two-year contract by the Catalan club.
Eto’o cost Barcelona £16m when he signed from Mallorca in 2004 and the Cameroon forward has scored more than 100 goals in his five seasons with the club.
He helped the Catalan side win a treble trophy haul of the Spanish league title, domestic cup and Champions League in the 2008-2009 campaign.
City’s summer spending so far has seen them sign striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn for £18m and Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry for £12m.