Manchester City once failed with an accidental £30 million bid for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, it has been revealed.
City have shown themselves to be willing to splash the cash in order to land big names ever since being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, having spent over £30 million on each of Robinho and Sergio Aguero, and over £25 million on Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Mario Balotelli, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
Upon arriving at the club in 2008, City’s owners wanted to make a landmark signing and eventually splashed out on Robinho from Real Madrid, having just missed out on Kaka, Fernando Torres and Dimitar Berbatov as well.
Now former Chief Executive Garry Cook, who famously accused Kaka of ‘bottling’ his move to the Etihad Stadium, has revealed that in the confusion of their attempts to land a big name in the summer of 2008, contact was made with Barcelona over the prospect of landing Messi.
"An executive made a comment like, 'it's all getting messy'," former chief executive Garry Cook recalls in 'The Manchester City Years' as club officials in Manchester, London and Abu Dhabi attempted to do business via telephone.
"Via the phone lines and the other communication lines, this somehow translated into 'get Messi'. An offer was made for Lionel Messi of about £30m. Needless to say, it was rejected."