Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he was considering signing Mario Balotelli before the Italian ended up at local-rivals Manchester City.
The Scot has published a host of revelations in his new book, 'Leading', with several eye-catching stories emerging in recent days.
And one that perhaps not many saw coming was that Ferguson was interested in bringing Balotelli to Manchester, only for the striker to end up in the Blue half of the city.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Ferguson explained how he was made aware of the striker following his emergence at Inter Milan, but didn't make a formal bid after speaking to several managers about the Italian.
The 73-year-old was put off by stories about Balotelli's personality, and the striker eventually ended up at City where he stole the headlines for the wrong reasons on numerous occasions.
Writing in his new book, Ferguson said: "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."
After falling out with Roberto Mancini, Balotelli left the Etihad Stadium and returned to Italy with AC Milan, only to move back to England and the Premier League, this time with Liverpool.
However, after just one season, Brendan Rodgers had enough of the Italian and sent him back to the San Siro on a season-long loan.
Balotelli has taken controversy with him everywhere he has gone, though there's little doubting that things could have been entirely different had he ended up at Old Trafford under the tutelage of the great United manager.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms