Manchester City Offered to Triple Lionel Messi's Wages, Says Khaldoon al-Mubarak

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2018

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi bends over during the Spanish league football match between Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on October 7, 2018. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSE JORDAN/Getty Images

Manchester City offered to triple Lionel Messi's Barcelona wages in a bid to tempt the Argentinian to the Etihad Stadium after Pep Guardiola became the club's manager, according to chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.

Mubarak told a media conference in the United Arab Emirates that Messi is the one player he wishes City had signed, per Goal's Chris Burton: "We asked [manager Pep] Guardiola to talk to him, we offered him triple the salary he has at Barcelona, but he never accepted."

Guardiola was announced as Manuel Pellegrini's replacement as City manager in February 2016, five months before he actually took up the role.

Almost immediately there were rumours he might be able to tempt Messi to Manchester, with Jamie Jackson in the Guardian reporting City were hopeful a deal could be done. The pair enjoyed huge success when Guardiola was in charge at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.

The reports proved unfounded, but they reemerged last year when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner seemed to be hesitating over signing a new contract at the Camp Nou, per Moises Llorens of AS.

Messi eventually penned a new deal to 2021 to end any further speculation about his future, and he looks set to end his career at Barcelona:

City have hardly suffered despite failing in their bid to sign arguably the world's best player.

They reached 100 points in a record-breaking Premier League-winning 2017-18 season and are back at the top of the English top flight after eight games of the new campaign.

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