Back in the go-go days of August 2008, when Man City had just become the big-spending richest club in the world and were still four years away from winning the Premier League title, the club was desperate to buy big-name players who could make an immediate impact. They ended up spending a British record £32.5 million to buy Robinho from Real Madrid at the last second, but before that, a miscommunication led to a low-ball bid for Lionel Messi.
From The Mirror:
Former City chief executive Garry Cook details the mix-up in 'The Manchester City Years' by Gary James.
City had made already made a failed bid for Fernando Torres and had attempted to hijack Manchester United's deal with Spurs for Dimitar Berbatov.
But senior club officials based in Manchester, London and Abu Dhabi were formulating Sheikh Mansour's plans by telephone.
And Cook explains: "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 £30million. Needless to say, it was rejected."
Other mistake bids Man City made in 2008: £29 million for Kaka, £31.3 million for George Best, £34 million for Santi Munez from the Goal! movies and £33 million for Barry Ronaldo.
How things change. Now City are reigning champions, their biggest (and only) signing of the summer is Jack Rodwell and PSG are the ones making bids for the best players in the world. Except they're probably not doing it by accident.
It's just a shame there weren't cameras rolling in Barcelona's offices when that whisper down the lane Messi bid was received.