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Mancini insists City offer for Veron was a "joke"

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists he never made a serious offer to bring Juan Sebastian Veron back to the Premier League.

Veron said last week that he had been approached by City and had spoken to his club, Estudiantes, about the offer. His agent, Miguel Pires, also claimed that City had offered to pay the 34-year-old midfielder £7 million for a one-year contract at Eastlands.

However, Mancini has now said that there was never a genuine offer to Veron and that the situation was misconstrued.

"Veron is my friend," he said on the club's official website. "I played with him at Sampdoria, and at Lazio, and when I was the manager at Inter he played for me.

"I called him just to say hello and as we talked I joked with Seba - 'If you want, you can come to play for City' - but I was only joking and he knew that. He plays for Estudiantes and is very happy there. It was never a possibility for us."

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