Zenit St Petersburg boss Luciano Spalletti has admitted he tried and failed to sign Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi in the past.
The Italian striker is currently at the top of the Serie A scoring charts thanks to 11 goals so far this season. He scored twice in the win over Sampdoria on Sunday.
“Pepito Rossi can win the Capocannoniere crown,” the former Udinese and Roma tactician told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I courted him for some time, but I wasn’t able to bring him with me to Russia.
“He will be an important player for Italy at the World Cup Finals in Brazil too.”
The former Parma and Manchester United man, 26, is now back to full fitness after missing almost two full seasons with a recurring knee ligament problem.
He joined the Viola in January from Spanish club Villarreal for an initial €10m. That fee could rise by a further €6m depending on bonuses.
In the same interview, Spalletti admitted that the Coach he most admirers in Serie A right now is the Viola’s Vincenzo Montella.