Mauro Icardi's former agent has revealed that both Juventus and Napoli turned down the chance to sign the talented forward for just €400k, during his time in Barcelona's youth academy.
The Argentine international is now a Serie A superstar, and has netted 80 goals in just 133 Serie A appearances for his current side Internazionale.
In an interview with Il Secolo XIX, via ItaSportPress, former agent Nunzio Marchione, revealed that the two Serie A giants turned up their noses at the opportunity to bag Icardi during his days as a bright prospect at Barcelona.
"Riccardo Pecini [Sampdoria's youth academy chief] was very clever in getting him after both Juventus and Napoli, who had moved on him before, had rejected him," Marchione said.
Icardi eventually left Catalonia for Sampdoria for just €400k, before switching to Inter after his first season in Italy.
"What struck me about Icardi? The fact that, at age 15, he was already mature and ready to live away from home," Marchione added. "And he had that innate ability to move half a second before the defender to place himself where he was needed. You could see he was phenomenal.”
Marchione also revealed that the then Barcelona starlet has always been an Nerazzurri at heart and actually cheered Inter's famous victory over his employers on the way to a famous treble in 2010.
"He dreamt of playing for Inter because he had grown up with a Zanetti poster, and I remember how happy we were when we celebrated the semi-final win at the Camp Nou," Marchione added. "[Gerard] Deulofeu was next to us, and he couldn’t understand why we were celebrating”.
Icardi has gone from strength to strength since leaving Sampdoria to join the club of his boyhood dreams in 2013, scoring over 20 goals in a season twice in his five year spell at San Siro.
The 24-year-old still has a long career ahead of him, and it remains to be seen whether the giants of European football will soon come calling for the services of the talented Argentine.