Manchester City once made a €35mbid for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi by accident, according to a new book.
Author Gary James claims in his book The Manchester City Years that a breakdown in communications on the day Sheikh Mansour completed his takeover of the club was to blame for the astonishing offer.
Barcelona, not surprisingly, rejected the proposal out of hand and the Blues turned instead to Real Madrid’s Brazilian international Robinho.
James maintains that City had already failed in a bid to land Fernando Torres and had also been on the trail of Manchester United-bound Dimitar Berbatov, with club officials in Manchester communicating Mansour’s plans by telephone.
Gary Cook, former chief executive at the Etihad Stadium, explained.
“He [an executive] made a comment like ‘it’s all getting messy.’
“Via the telephones and other communication lines, this somehow translated into ‘get Messi.’
“An offer was made for Lionel Messi of about €35m. Needless to say, it was rejected.”