Inter manager Roberto Mancini has admitted he was interested in signing Mario Balotelli before the striker joined AC Milan.
The Italy international re-joined Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side on loan from Liverpool after an unhappy 12 months at Anfield and is set to face Inter when the city rivals meet on Sunday.
Mancini previously worked with the much-maligned forward at Manchester City, and considered bringing him to San Siro due to their good relationship.
And the former City boss believes Balotelli could be a key player at the European Championships for Italy despite missing out on him to Milan.
“Yes, I admit it is true,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked if he was keen to add Balotelli to his squad.
“Seriously, I thought about it at some point when we believed we might need a replacement for [Mauro] Icardi. I thought about it because I know him, I love him and I know what he can give.
“I thought about it because he has to go back to being what he was. I thought about it, but that came before AC Milan signing him.
“I want to think forward to the next European Championships, because I see no better striker in Italy.”