Manchester City quash Lionel Messi reports

Manchester City have released an official statement denying they have approached Barcelona regarding Argentine sensation Lionel Messi. Reports in the Spanish media claimed Mark Hughes' side are interested in buying 'The Flea' from the la Liga champions and Champions League finalists for a staggering €150million, as well as paying the 21-year-old €10m a year in wages.

But the club have acted swiftly, publicly declaring that no bid has been made or discussed for the diminutive forward.

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

"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 unfounded reports will be of little surprise to Blues fans, who have seen their club linked with copious amounts of star names since the multi-billion-pound takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Having signed Real Madrid front-man Robinho for £32.5m last summer, the Eastlands outfit tried and failed to lure AC Milan playmaker Kaka to Manchester in January in what would have been a world record transfer fee in excess of £100m.

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