Cristian Ledesma's agent has confirmed that the new Italy recruit was being followed by Argentina before the World Cup.
The South American, uncapped by his home country, has been called up to the Italy squad for this week's friendly against Romania.
"[Former Argentina boss Diego] Maradona was keeping an eye on him ahead of South Africa 2010," agent Vincenzo D'Ippolito told TMW.
"And there was talk of a future with Italy in the past when Marcello Lippi was in charge. Cristian feels Italian, his wife and kids are Italian."
New Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has opened the door for Oriundi – players not born in the peninsula – to appear for the Azzurri.
He gave a maiden cap to Brazilian-born Juventus striker Amauri earlier this term and Ledesma may get his opportunity on Wednesday.
"A lot of nations in Europe are using Oriundi now," added D'Ippolito. "I think this could be an historic moment in the game."
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.