Sampdoria had the opportunity to sign Juan Roman Riquelme in the summer, their sporting director has confirmed.
The 34-year-old is a free agent after leaving Boca Juniors and he had his eye on a switch to the Marassi outfit.
“Riquelme offered himself to us via our goalkeeper Sergio Romero,” director Pasquale Sensibile told the Corriere Mercantile.
“Romero told us as soon as he got the phone call from his former Argentine international teammate.
“For two nights at Bardonecchia – their pre-season retreat – boss Ciro Ferrara and myself didn’t sleep.
“The Coach was thinking about the Argentine champion and how he could fit into his preferred [4-3-3] system.
“At the end of the day, after reflecting long and hard about it, we decided to turn him down. But it wasn’t easy.”
Riquelme, now 34, is a central midfielder who has played in Europe for Barcelona and Villarreal.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk