Barcelona and Spain star Gerard Pique made a stunning bid to buy Notts County this summer.
His Kosmos Global Holding group held talks with Notts County’s former owner Alan Hardy in London, reports The Athletic.
His Barcelona team-mate Messi is also one of the investors in Kosmos, which also includes American technology billionaire Larry Ellison.
But the Magpies looming High Court date meant they had no chance to complete the necessary due diligence, and Hardy had to accept an earlier offer from Danish brothers Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz.
Pique, an ex-Manchester United player with various business interests, was attracted by the history of the club and wanted to turn Meadow Lane ‘into a finishing school for homegrown talent’.
As talks between them and Notts County stuttered, the company instead purchased another football club, Gimnastic Manresa, based in the north east of Spain.