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Mancini revealed how the current Sampdoria star could have been a Nerazzurri player if he had remained coach of Inter this season.

Former Inter coach Roberto Mancini confirmed the rumours that Antonio Cassano was close to wearing the Nerazzurri's shirt, but in the end the deal was postponed.

However, if Mancini had remained on Inter's bench, Cassano could have signed for the club last summer as negotiations would have resumed back then, but ultimately the Nerazzurri opted to hire Jose Mourinho who had other targets to chase.

"We spoke some times," admitted the currently unemployed coach to Sky. "There was the possibility of bringing him, just before he joined Sampdoria, but then we didn't do anything.

"We had told each other that we would have spoken at the end of the year."

However, Mancini was then sacked by Inter president Massimo Moratti and Cassano remained at Sampdoria where he did extremely well, but failing to convince national team coach Marcello Lippi to call him up: a similar story to Mancini.

"There are some analogies for sure," he continued. "I used to play at Sampdoria when I was with the national team and back then it was very difficult to be a starter since I played for the Blucerchiati."

In the end Inter signed Quaresma, who flopped and was sent to Chelsea, with many Nerazzurri fans recriminating that they could have had Cassano instead.

Glenn Debattista, Goal.com

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