Manchester:Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini saw Carlos Tevez score a hat-trick in a dominating 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers and then revealed he'd try to buy the striker two years ago.
Tevez's treble, his first for City and first since he scored four goals against Rovers for Manchester United in a League Cup tie 13 months ago, was the centrepiece of a victory that took his side up into fourth place in the Premier League table and maintained Mancini's winning start to his Eastlands career.
"When I was in Italy and watched him on TV I thought Carlos was a good player," former Inter Milan boss Mancini told reporters after Monday's match.
"I wanted him to come to Inter. I asked about him. But of course, there was no chance because he was at United."
Argentina ace Tevez has been enjoying a productive strike partnership with Benjani Mwaruwari and the Zimbabwe foward played a key role in several of City's goals against Rovers.
Benjani, a forgotten figure at City under former boss Mark Hughes, appears a revitalised player and his form suggests Mancini need not have any qualms about rushing Emmanuel Adebayor back into the side.
Togo captain Adebayor and his international team-mates came under attack last week when their team bus was shot at during the African Nations Cup in Angola in an incident which ended with the death of the squad's assistant coach and media spokesman.
Togo have since quit the tournament and returned home for an official period of mourning.
Former Arsenal striker Adebayor is now expected back in England later this week and a sympathetic Mancini said: "I am very sorry for him.
"I will just wait for him. When he comes back I will speak with him and let him decide when he wants to play. That will be okay with me."
Meanwhile Mancini, while happy City now occupy one of the places that will qualify them for next season's Champions League, said his team had yet to reach their peak.
"I would be happy if the Premier League finished now," the Italian said.
"We still have to improve. And for that, we need five or six of our best players back."
Defeat left Rovers just three points above the relegation zone and represented their ninth game without a win ahead of their League Cup semi-final first leg match at home to Aston Villa on Thursday.
"I could not believe what we were doing in the first half," said Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce, whose team were 2-0 down at the break after Micah Richards had added to Tevez's early opener.
Rovers forward Benni McCarthy was forced to withdraw shortly before kick-off and Allaryce said he'd yet to receive any transfer window offers for the want-away South Africa international.
"We have not had one bid for him," said Allardyce. "Until such time as we get one, we cannot move."