Manchester City Accidentally Made Bid for Lionel Messi

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 19:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Camp Nou on August 19, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Manchester City once made a £30 million bid to sign Lionel Messi.

It's a sensational thought, and one that shouldn't be taken too seriously.

In an extract from his upcoming book, former Man City chief executive Gary Cook explains how the Barcelona superstar was once the subject of an accidental bid from the current Premier League champions.

Cook explains the mix up, as reported by ESPN:

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.

Not long after the mistake, City went on to bring in Robinho for £32 million, a signing that marked the beginning of the Sheik Mansour era.

While it's a silly anecdote, one can't help but think what might have been. Robinho scored 14 goals in 30 Premier League appearances the following season, and was the first signing to offer a glimpse at what was to come.

Four years down the line, the Brazilian's spell at the club is long forgotten. Lionel Messi continues to lap up accolades in a Barcelona side that is undoubtedly one of the best ever. Cook's story is rather embarrassing, but it might have turned out so differently.

Sheik Mansour isn't partial to spending a little money. If the bid was upped and Messi joined the club, it's interesting to think how different the landscape of football would be.

Manchester City's run to the Premier League title might have been much quicker, and far less dramatic.

Maybe this mishap explains a few things; if the words, 'It's all getting rocky,' were mentioned, Sheik Mansour might have felt the need to impress with the signing of a soon to flop Paraguayan striker (via The Telegraph).

Awful puns aside, how much of a difference would Lionel Messi have made? If the bid was somehow accepted, would City be more successful than they are now?