Pescara chief Daniele Sebastiani says he wanted to sell Marco Verratti to Napoli before Paris Saint-Germain swooped.
The player moved to the French capital for a fee of around €12m, but only after Juventus and Napoli made bids.
“I would have sold him to Napoli,” the President told Radio Kiss Kiss. “Aurelio De Laurentiis was the only person who made a real offer to Pescara.
“We could have done a deal with Napoli in a few minutes, but the boy hesitated because he has always been a Juventus fan and their offer put him in a difficult situation.
“To be honest, I think he would have done well at Napoli and it would have been the best solution in order for Italian football to not lose a talent like Marco.”
The playmaker, 19, has been included in the latest Italy squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.
He made his international debut in last month’s 2-1 friendly defeat to England.