Roberto Mancini admits he “would’ve brought Mario Balotelli to Inter, but Milan got there first.”
The Nerazzurri Coach spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of tomorrow night’s Derby della Madonnina.
It had been rumoured that Inter were also seeking to sign Balotelli on loan from Liverpool this summer, but the club always denied that was a possibility.
“I admit it, it’s true. I would’ve brought Balotelli to Inter,” Mancini confessed to La Gazzetta.
“At a certain point we evaluated him as an understudy for Mauro Icardi. I thought of him because I know him, I care for him and know what he can give.
“I thought about it because he has to get back to being what he was. I thought about it… but then Milan got there first. Did we talk over the summer? Yes.
“I want to think of him as the first choice striker for Italy at Euro 2016, because I don’t see a better centre-forward out there.”
Balotelli posted a picture of himself on Instagram this week kissing the Milan badge on his jersey, but Mancio is unconvinced.
“He would’ve been kissing the Inter badge if he’d have come to us.”
SuperMario started his career at Inter’s youth academy and was pushed into the first team as a teenager by Mancini.
He was sold to Manchester City in 2010 for €30m, where he reunited with the Coach, only to head back to San Siro for their rivals Milan in January 2013.
Just one year after joining Liverpool for €20m, Balotelli was loaned out to the Rossoneri with a portion of his wages paid for by the Anfield club.
He could well feature in tonight’s Milan Derby, but Mancini’s revelation shows how it could’ve been very different.