Former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has revealed how the club once made a £30 million bid for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi by accident.
Cook, who left the Etihad Stadium last September, made the revelation in a new book detailing the history of the club.
He told author Gary James about the mix-up in an interview for ‘The Manchester City Years’, which has just been published.
The offer for Messi was made following a breakdown in communication between club officials as Sheikh Mansour completed his £210 million takeover in August 2008.
Barcelona rejected the offer, and City instead signed Brazilian playmaker Robinho from Real Madrid for £32 million.
Cook explained that the mix-up happened when officials were finalising Sheikh Mansour’s plans by telephone.
He said: “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 £30 million. Needless to say, it was rejected.”