Football News

Ex-Chelsea defender Filipe Luis reveals how close he came to a Premier League return this summer

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 13:15, 25 August 2019

Filipe Luis says Manchester City were keen to sign him before he joined Flamengo this summer.

The 34-year-old Brazilian full-back enjoyed a brief stint in the Premier League with Chelsea between spells at Atlético Madrid, where much of his success came.

Five things to know about Filipe Luis’ career…

  • Filipe Luis began at boyhood club Figueirense before joining Dutch giants Ajax.
  • He never played a league game for the Amsterdammers before moving to Uruguayan side Rentistas from there he spent time on loan at Real Madrid B.
  • Luis started to make a name for himself at Deportivo La Coruña, his performances attracted the attention of Atlético Madrid.
  • Following a successful period, he’d join Chelsea, but would only make 26 appearances before returning.
  • Luis moved to Flamengo this summer but could have been playing for Man City.

A 44-time capped international, Luis said goodbye to Atleti for a second time after last season and became a free agent, this last period included another Europa League triumph.

There were no shortage of interested parties with Luis deciding between returning home, where he previously represented boyhood club Figueirense, or stay in Europe.

In the end, the Jaraguá do Sul-born footballer opted for Brazil’s top flight, which also welcomed compatriot Dani Alves this summer, when he signed for São Paulo. But according to Luis, he was close to joining some pretty big clubs including the reigning English champions.

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“From January until March I had an offer from Manchester City, but it didn’t work out,” he told Globo Esporte.

“There was a call from Juninho Pernambucano to go to Lyon, but I said I could only give an answer after the Copa America and they ended up signing someone else.

“There was Turkey, China, a number of countries that called, but none of them felt right in my heart at the time.”

“I had a contract with Atletico and an absurd offer came in [from PSG], one that I couldn’t refuse,” he added.

“I went to Atletico and said ‘if you let me leave, I’d appreciate it’, especially because Gabi had just left. But they said no, it was impossible for me to leave because they would have to sign another left-back and there wasn’t enough time for that. I didn’t want to fight with Atletico, though, and in the end it didn’t go ahead, but the offer was there and I was close.

“In the end I had three or four proposals to consider, and then you have to choose. But I see that one club calls me, then the director of another one… it’s a long list. There’s this club but it can’t afford my wages, then another one but it doesn’t want to be champion, so bye!

“So, a lot of things were happening and in the end I closed some important doors, like Borussia. It was a very good offer, but I didn’t feel it in my heart. Even though I had the same thing with the fans (a good relationship with Flamengo’s), I didn’t feel that passion to say, ‘I want to go to Borussia’.”