Everton and West Ham United tried to sign David Luiz following his departure from Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer transfer window, according to Globo Esporte.
Even at the age of 34, the poodle-haired centre-half was inundated with offers, emails and phone calls when news broke his £120,000-a-week contract at the Emirates Stadium wouldn’t be extended.
Yes, Luiz might chuck one in his own net now and again.
Yes, he’ll pick up the sort of red cards more regularly associated with portly Sunday League defenders, the Kronenburg and korma from the night before hanging on their breath.
But you’d be kidding yourself if you thought the 57-cap Brazil international doesn’t have a lot left to offer at the highest level.
Luiz was actually one of Arsenal’s more consistent performers during a miserable 2020/21 campaign and his influence off the pitch – the affable veteran is a huge presence in the dressing room and an excellent role model for young players – will be sorely missed in north London.
“He is fantastic – one of the leaders in the dressing room. He’s one of the most experienced players, he has won everything in the game,” Arteta said in January of a man who has lifted one Premier League title, three FA Cups and a Champions League, among other trophies.
“He is so good with the young kids. When you look at people who can help and be a role model, he is always with them, he is always supporting them, giving them confidence and advice.
“It is great to have someone like him around.”
Everton, West Ham and Real Madrid wanted David Luiz
According to Globo Esporte, West Ham, Everton and even Real Madrid made enquiries about Luiz, as did former employers Benfica.
But, after more than a decade in Europe, Luiz couldn’t resist the opportunity to join a Flamengo side that has struggled to match its 2019 peak, when the Brazilian giants lifted a historic treble under legendary coach Jorge Jesus.
“I had a few different scenarios where I could choose a quieter life, more peace, but I like to do what I feel in my heart,” Luiz explains.