Father of £26m star admits there was interest from Liverpool and Arsenal

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on January 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England.

Premier League giants Liverpool and Arsenal wanted Reinier Jesus but the Brazilian superstar has now joined La Liga powerhouses Real Madrid.

Reinier of Flamengo celebrates his goal during a match between Flamengo and Bahia as part of Brasileirao Series A 2019 at Maracana Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Liverpool and Arsenal both contacted Brazilian wonderkid Reinier Jesus before his £26 million move to Real Madrid, the player’s father has admitted to Cadena Ser.

For the third time since July 2018, Los Blancos have invested an eye-watering sum in a teenage Samba starlet with a handful of first-team games under his belt. Flamengo’s fresh-faced maestro Reinier followed in the footsteps of Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo on Tuesday by sealing a £26 million move to the Santiago Bernabau, as reported by the BBC.

 

Labelled the ‘new Kaka’ in his homeland due to his rangy stride and his ability to skip past challenges like a gazelle on roller skates, Reinier has the world at his feet and who better to help him fulfil his vast potential than Zinedine Zidane – arguably the greatest playmaker of the 21st century?

Real Madrid were far from the only club willing to pay big for an 18-year-old who already has a Copa Libertadores title on his CV, however. Speaking after the deal was made official, Reinier's father has explained why arguably South America's hottest talent chose the Spanish capital over the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Reinier of Brazil  looks on during his CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic soccer game against Peru at Centenario Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Armenia, Colombia.

"Did Barcelona call us? Yes, there was always contact, although nothing as strong as Real. Real made the commitment,” Mauro Carvalho told El Larguero on CadenaSer, before listing the other clubs who missed out.

“​​Juventus, Liverpool, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax..."

Interestingly, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool missed out on Rodrygo too with the winger’s former Santos coach Elano admitting to ESPN in November that The Reds had negotiated a deal, only to be blown out of the water by Real Madrid.

And, in an alternative universe, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ousmane Dembele and Eden Hazard would have spent their formative years at Arsenal. We can now add Reinier to this illustrious list of players who slipped agonisingly through Arsenal’s grasp.

Reinier Jesus #19 and Matheus Soares #26 of Flamengo celebrates the victory after winning the final match of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 between Flamengo and River Plate at Estadio...

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