Sinisa Mihajlovic insists Sampdoria “weren’t particularly interested in” Antonio Cassano, as they prepare to face Parma.
The two teams go head-to-head on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.
Parma directors confirmed Cassano had asked to leave in January for a return to the Blucerchiati, but they locked him down.
“Cassano’s a great player who can make the difference in any team, but as far as I know we weren’t particularly interested in his return,” said Mihajlovic in his Press conference.
“It was more than anything else fantasy football in the media, but if he had arrived then he would’ve been treated like any other player.”
Parma and Verona are in the battle for Europe, but Mihajlovic insists Sampdoria have more prestige.
“Those clubs have done very well. With all due respect, though, I think Sampdoria are a step ahead in terms of history and tradition.
“Samp have to be ambitious and play for more than just mere safety.”
This week Mihajlovic was in Serbia to pay his respects to former Sampdoria Coach Vujadin Boskov, his mentor in the sport.
“Boskov was like a father for me and it’s difficult when you lose someone you care so much about. Life is like that, you hope it will be as late as possible, but death is the only inevitable thing in life.
“There are many anecdotes about him and his phrases are remembered always. At the time they might’ve seemed banal, but they were always precisely targeted and showed a superior intelligence.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!