Alberto Gilardino rejected a move to Napoli over the summer after the Azzurri had agreed a deal with Fiorentina.
The Italian international was rumoured to have been of interest to the San Paolo outfit and that has now been confirmed by his agent.
"Alberto was close to a Napoli transfer in the summer," representative Giuseppe Bozzo told Radio Kiss Kiss.
"The deal was done between the clubs and there were no problems between Presidents Aurelio De Laurentiis and Andrea Della Valle.
"However, the player preferred to not take the risk of ending up on the bench. He would have only accepted the switch had he had the certainty that he would have been a starter."
Bozzo added: "Alberto would have been useful to Napoli, but he would have been in competition with other strikers.
"That's why the Azzurri then opted to sign Goran Pandev from Inter instead."
Napoli's attacking trident is formed by Edinson Cavani – who would have been Gila's biggest threat to a place in the side – Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik.
Gilardino remained in Florence over the summer, but he's currently sidelined with injury.