City deny making £132m bid for Messi

Manchester City have denied making a £132m bid for Barcelona and Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi. However, according to reports in the Spanish press this morning the world's richest club have offered the 21-year-old a deal said to be worth somewhere in the region of £9m per year.

The rumours come just days after City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak made it clear that the club would not overstretch itself in the transfer stakes this summer. But a statement from City denied that the club have made an offer for Messi.

"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," City's statement said.

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

The fact that there is more chance of hell freezing over than Messi swapping the Nou Camp for Eastlands doesn't seem to have been mentioned by anyone.

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