According to author Gary James in his book, The Manchester City Years, confusion was rampant in the early days of Sheikh Mansour's takeover, as the club attempted to sign a host of players including Fernando Torres and Dimitar Berbatov on orders from Mansour, before a misunderstanding led to a bid being lodged for the Argentinian.
Cook said: "He [an executive] made a comment like ‘it’s all getting messy.’
"Via the telephones and other communication lines, this somehow translated into ‘get Messi.’ An offer was made for Lionel Messi of about €35m. Needless to say, it was rejected."
Quite why City only bid €35m is another question if they ever believed the orders to buy Messi were sincere, but it's probably mildly worrying that such an amount of money can be thrown around on the basis of two misheard words.
On the plus side, it gives us a chance to post this classic video, to imagine how that meeting would've gone down.