- Lionel Messi could have joined Man City in 2008 after the Premier League giants made an accidental bid
- The Citizens were willing to pay £70m for the Argentine back then
- Apparently it was a miscommunication that made Man City's former chief make the panic offer
Premier League defending champions Manchester City reportedly made an attempt to lure Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium few years after breaking into the Barcelona first team.
The Citizens were said to have made an accidental £70 million bid for the Argentine superstar over a decade ago - exactly in 2008.
Man City were planning to make a major signing before Sheikh Mansour took over the Manchester club back then.
City's former executive Garry Cook told Athletic in an interview that the club was willing to pay that much money for the forward.
SunSport reports that Ronaldo de Lima, Ronaldinho, Dimitar Berbatov and Fernando Torres were top targets but it was Robinho who broke the British transfer record with a £32.5 million move.
Barely half of what they could have paid for the 32-year-old if the deal had succeeded in the summer of 2008.
Cook was in a room with Pairoj Piempongsant, assistant to then-owner Thaksin Shinawatra, while on the phone to former City COO Paul Alridge when the comedy of errors occurred.
He explained: “Pairoj Piempongsant was getting heated.
"The phone was on the table and he was speaking to Paul Aldridge, who had previously been with West Ham and was also part of Thaksin's world.
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"There's Paul with his London accent: ‘Pairoj, you got to tell me what we're doing, it's getting out of control’.
"Pairoj was lying on a chaise lounge, getting a massage, and shouting: 'Yes, yes, yes! Very messy, messy, it's getting messy.’
"Something got lost in translation and — on my daughter's eyesight, this is the truth — that was misheard as ‘we've got to get Messi’”.
Cook was misled afterwards and he made such a big offer for the Barcelona star.
At that time, Chelsea's Andriy Shevchenko held the record back then after joining the Blues in a deal worth £30m in 2006.
Cook said: “Paul came to me afterwards: ‘Garry, this is getting confusing, I don't know what we are doing here.’ “I said: ‘Put the offer in, let's see what we come up with’.
“Then Dave Richards called me the next day from the Premier League: ‘Garry, have you put in an offer for Lionel Messi? Seventy million pounds? Are you mad?’”
“He said he’d had a call from Barcelona and they wanted to know if it was real. They were saying to Dave that, if it was real, they might have done a deal a few weeks earlier.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi has opened up on sharing the locker room with Samuel Eto'o, with the Argentine making a revelation about his first conversation with the Cameroonian legend.
Messi joined Barcelona in 2004 as a brilliant youngster oblivious of his greatness and then moved on to become the club's most iconic poster boy, winning several titles in his long stint with the Catalans spanning over a decade.
Eto'o, on the other hand, began his football career in Spain with Real Madrid. He then joined Leganes, Espanyol and Real Mallorca on loan deals before sealing a permanent switch to Barcelona where he met Messi.
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