Manchester City deny Messi bid

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The Independent Football

Manchester City dismissed reports in the Spanish media today that they made an offer to sign Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and he turned the club down.

The reports said City had made a €150m deal to buy out the remainder of Messi's contract with the Spanish league champion and Champions League finalist and then pay him a further €10m a year to play in the Premier League.

City issued a statement today saying no such bid had been made.

"Manchester City Football Club note with interest the reports circulating in the Spanish media that the club has made an offer to the Barcelona player Lionel Messi and that he has turned down the chance to join the club," the statement said.

"While acknowledging that Lionel Messi is a world-class player of the highest caliber, Manchester City would like to make it clear that the club has at no time made an approach to Mr. Messi or his representatives."

Owned since September by a wealthy business consortium from Abu Dhabi, Man City had a £100m move for AC Milan's Kaka rejected by the player in January.