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30 stats for Messi's 30th birthday

Barcelona
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City accidentally bid for Messi

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.

• Live Transfer Blog: On the Move

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."

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