Marino says he tried to sign the Pole six years ago.
“I first saw Lewandowski in 2007,” Marino, now at Atalanta, told Il Mattino. “He was a youngster at Znicz Pruszków, a Second Division Polish side.
“We were in pre-season in Austria and the small Eastern European teams were used as sparring partners during the summer.
“Our scouts had pointed him out and I went to watch him in action. He was 18, had a good physique, some good touches even if he was a bit rough. I was interested.
“Znicz wanted €500,000, but we decided to keep following him. We then chose to sign him, but the player, and his people, decided to stay in Poland and they accepted a move to Lech Poznan.
“We continued to follow him until 2009, but Lech wouldn’t let him go. On Wednesday, I yet again understood that we were very close to a great signing.”