Manchester City have moved to deny reports that they previously made an attempt to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, and that they had offered to treble the player's already exorbitant wages.
In a previous interview with a Spanish outlet, via the Daily Mail, club chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak was quoted as saying: "We asked (Pep) Guardiola to talk to him, we offered him triple the salary he has at Barcelona, but he never accepted". However, City officials have moved to distance themselves from the comments, stating: "We deny the veracity of these quotes."
It is unclear whether the club are rejecting the notion that they moved for Messi, or merely the fact that they offered to treble the player's wages. The 31-year-old is currently believed to be the highest earning footballer in the game, and is thought to take home around €40m per year. It is still unconfirmed whether City offered to pay Messi an eye-watering €120m per year.
The Argentine ace excelled under Guardiola during his highly successful spell as Barcelona manager. With the innovative coach at the helm, the Catalan giants were bathed in a golden era. Messi's performances saw him become recognised as one of the greatest players of all time, as his side won three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies with Guardiola.
In other news, City ace Bernardo Silva has been released from the current Portugal squad for technical reasons. The midfielder was due to join his side to face Scotland this evening, but is now believed to be returning to Manchester. Silva scored a stunning goal for Portugal against Poland on Thursday, helping his side achieve a thrilling 3-2 victory.