Man City Deny Reports That They Offered Messi Astronomical Salary

BARCELONA          Messi's contract includes a clause which would let him leave Barça in 2020


Manchester City have rubbished claims they made a failed bid to sign Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.

"He does ask for it on the pitch, but before speaking to team-mates he'll go and play the Playstation", Maradona told Mexican programme "La Ultima Palabra".

"We shouldn't deify Messi any longer", Maradona said. Then, on the field, he wants to be the leader. He's the best in the world with Cristiano [Ronaldo].

"There's no two ways about it. Let's stop making a God out of Messi. Messi is Messi when he wears that shirt and he's another Messi with Argentina".

Diego Maradona criticised Lionel Messi in a freakish interview in Mexico.

"We offered him triple the salary he has at Barcelona, but he never accepted it", said Khaldoon al Mubarak, the president of the reinging Premier League champions, referring to an objective in 2016.

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After Argentina bowed out in the last 16 to France in this year's World Cup in Russia, Messi chose to take a break from global football, a decision which Maradona supports.

And club chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak has been quoted in a Spanish newspaper as saying he once made a lucrative offer for Messi, which was rejected.

But City responded by insisting there was no truth to the report.

However, a Manchester City spokesman denied the wages claim: "we deny the veracity of these quotes".

Messi's current contract at Barcelona runs until the summer of 2021.

Goal understands that City had held a long-term interest in signing Messi, although the new deal he signed with Barca in November 2017 put paid to their hopes of luring him to England.

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