Radamel Falcao wanted to join Juventus in the summer transfer window before he eventually joined Manchester United on deadline day, the Italian club's managing director has claimed.
Falcao, 28, moved to Old Trafford in a season-long loan deal from Ligue 1 side Monaco on Sept. 1. The Colombia striker has since made five appearances in the Premier League, opening his account in England with the decisive goal in the 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday Oct. 5.
But Juventus managing director Giuseppe Marotta said the Serie A champions had hoped to take him to Turin until United outbid them.
Falcao commanded a loan fee of six million pounds, while his salary is reported to take the cost of his spell at Old Trafford to 20 million pounds.
"We were following him and there was contact," Marotta told RAI. "We were very close to [signing] Falcao and the player preferred Italy and our colours, but then United came forward and they have much more spending power than we do so the deal broke down."
Marotta accepted that Italian clubs now struggle to attract the top players in the world, adding: "The quality of our league has fallen behind. Serie A used to be the league everybody strived to play in, but it's no longer like that today. The best players want to play abroad."
Without Falcao, Juventus have made a superb start to the domestic season, winning seven of their eight Serie A games, while their former United striker Carlos Tevez is the league's second-highest scorer with six goals.
However, the Bianconeri are once again failing to replicate that form in Europe, and currently lie third in their Champions League group after three matches following last week's 1-0 defeat at Olympiakos.