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They eventually signed Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5m, but earlier in the day were still searching for a suitable addition after failing in bids for Fernando Torres and Dimitar Berbatov.
"An executive made a comment like, 'it's all getting messy'," former chief executive Garry Cook recalls in 'The Manchester City Years' as club officials in Manchester, London and Abu Dhabi attempted to do business via telephone.
"Via the phone lines and the other communication lines, this somehow translated into 'get Messi'. An offer was made for Lionel Messi of about £30m. Needless to say, it was rejected."
|11/1||Barcelona are 11/1 with William Hill to win the Champions League with Lionel Messi top-scoring|