Harry Redknapp has revealed that he tried to sign Mario Balotelli during his time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.
Redknapp parted company with Tottenham earlier this month after the club failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Since his exit, Redknapp has been a keen observer of Euro 2012, which saw Balotelli score an impressive brace for Italy against Germany on Thursday night to set up a final versus Spain on Sunday.
Balotelli, 21, plies his domestic trade at Manchester City, having joined from Inter Milan for £24 million in 2010, and Redknapp has revealed he tried to bring the striker to White Hart Lane.
Redknapp said: "You never know what you're going to get with Mario Balotelli but one thing is certain - he is a major talent.
"He stunned Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final and his second goal was fantastic. I actually tried to sign him for Tottenham before he went to Manchester City. I'd admired him for a while and I went over to Italy to watch him play. I was impressed and I met up with him too.
"We wanted him on a loan deal but his club weren't keen and it never happened. Shame because he's definitely got it and, at only 21-years-old, he'll be terrorising defenders for many seasons to come."