Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he flirted with the idea of signing Mario Balotelli.
The Scot was made aware of Balotelli's talents in 2010 and considered making a move for the mercurial forward, before talking to other managers about the Italian.
Having made calls to enquire about the then-Inter Milan striker's personality, the Old Trafford legend decided against a move and Balotelli went on to join rivals Manchester City.
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In his new book, Leading, Ferguson wrote, as per the Mail: "In 2010 I briefly flirted with the idea of signing Mario Balotelli, the talented but controversial Italian striker.
"I did my homework on him, speaking to a few Italian contacts, but the feedback I got confirmed it was too big a risk.
"I don't know whether this sort of candid professional courtesy exists in other fields, but for me it was a Godsend."
However, Balotelli came back to haunt Ferguson, scoring a brace in City's 6-1 thrashing of their city rivals at Old Trafford.
The Etihad club went on to claim their first Premier League title that season, with the Liverpool flop scoring 13 goals in 23 league appearances.
But Ferguson hit back and regained the title a year later, thanks to the goals of Robin van Persie while Balotelli was sold to AC Milan after a fall-out with Roberto Mancini.
The forward's career has been inconsistent since his Manchester departure. His time with Milan saw him score 30 goals in 54 games despite the Italian giants struggling in Serie 'A'.
However, his move to Liverpool was less successful as he scored one goal in 16 league appearances before being loaned back to the San Siro outfit.
For Ferguson, it appears he dodged a bullet by declining the chance to sign the Italian forward.
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