Juan Roman Riquelme wanted to sign for Sampdoria this season, it has been confirmed.

The 34-year-old is a free agent after leaving Boca Juniors and he had his eye on a switch to the Marassi outfit.

"Riquelme offered himself to us via our goalkeeper Sergio Romero," director Pasquale Sensibile told the Corriere Mercantile.

"Romero told us as soon as he got the phone call from his former Argentine international teammate.

"For two nights at Bardonecchia - their pre-season retreat - boss Ciro Ferrara and myself didn't sleep.

"The Coach was thinking about the Argentine champion and how he could fit into his preferred [4-3-3] system.

"At the end of the day, after reflecting long and hard about it, we decided to turn him down. But it wasn't easy."