English club Manchester City, vehemently denied that the club president ever stated his attempt to sign Lionel Messi three times in the past.
The press from Barcelona is going berserk right now with a report from Mundo Deportivo, in which they assured that Manchester City president Al Mubarak, confirmed that he tried to sign Lionel Messi three times in the past.
The Catalan news outlet published an article that they have already taken down due to the backlash, in which they added a couple of quotes that are not recorded on video.
The one evidence they have is Mubarak being asked if there is a transfer that he always wished for Manchester City, to which he only responded by confirming it was Messi.
However, Mundo Deportivo didn’t stop there, they decided to add a quote that didn’t exist in order to give the piece more virality.
They invented that Mubarak said the following: “We asked Pep Guardiola to speak to Messi and offer him triple of what he was earning in Barcelona, but he never accepted the offer.”
The media outlet attributed this quote to unofficial FC Barcelona twitter accounts @ActualiteBarca and @BarcaUniversal and we can see the quote in those accounts, but such quote is not corroborated and using it was irresponsible.
Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was asked: “Which player have you tried for but failed to sign?”
His answer: “Messi” pic.twitter.com/hczq3uwJYp
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) October 11, 2018
Manchester City’s response
After the news became viral alongside the video, people started believing this to be true as the article that Mundo Deportivo wrote was pretty convincing.
This prompted a swift response from Manchester City via Sport that says: “We categorically deny the veracity of this statement that has been attributed to our Manchester City president by Mundo Deportivo,” said City via official sources.
“There is no video that can confirm this statement was made, Manchester City requests the media outlet that it isn’t reproduced again, this is a false statement,” said official Manchester City sources to Diario Sport.
After this response, that article in question was replaced by a more elaborate one where the media outlet tries to arrange the whole situation, but the damage is already done.
This subject has been very sensitive for the Citizens because they always want to keep a good relationship with FC Barcelona, they have repeatedly stated that they prefer Lionel Messi to finish his career there and they would never go after the Argentine in the future.
Pep Guardiola has grown tired of saying the same thing, he doesn’t even think about a Catalan club without the best player in history (his words).
🔊 Khaldoon Al Mubarak (Man City Chairman): "Messi is the player we wanted to sign but we did not succeed. We asked Guardiola to talk to him, we offered him triple the salary he was earning at Barca, but he never accepted our offer" pic.twitter.com/bLw2FZM4R2
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) October 13, 2018
Other factors that are important to note here, is that the English club’s board of directors has two former board members from FC Barcelona.
Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain are the masterminds of this new Manchester City that is wrecking havoc throughout England, they also don’t want Messi to leave FC Barcelona because they are avid fans of the club.
What we think happened here, is that Mundo Deportivo saw an opportunity to create false news that people would’ve seen as true and Manchester City officials reacted in a very negative manner.
But this doesn’t mean that Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has never flirted with the idea of going after Lionel Messi, all this means is that the Catalan part of Manchester City has strictly forbidden Mubarak from even thinking about the possibility and this video slipped through their cracks.
The president’s intentions are there, but this in no way is telling us that there has already been an approach from the Citizens to the player in the past.
Reporter: "Is there any player whose transfer you wanted at City, but you couldn't succeed?"
Khaldoon al Mubarak (Chairman, Manchester City): "Messi. We asked Guardiola to talk to him. We even offered him triple the salary he gets at Barcelona, but he never agreed."
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) October 12, 2018
How possible is it for Manchester City to go after Lionel Messi in the near future? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.