Real Madrid and Brazil legend Roberto Carlos has revealed he nearly joined Aston Villa.
The defender moved to Europe in 1995 to sign for Inter Milan, before leaving the following summer for Real.
“I actually came close to joining Aston Villa early in my career,” he toldThe Sun . “I met with the club, but nothing happened. Birminghamwere also interested, but it didn’t go anywhere and I later joined Inter Milan.”
Roberto Carlos was at Palmeiras in the summer of 1995 and played at Villa Park in a friendly for Brazil against Sweden.
Then chairman, Doug Ellis was impressed with what he saw, but manager, Brian Little, was less enthusiastic.
In the end, Villa brought in Gareth Southgate from Crystal Palace for £2.5million and Roberto Carlos moved to Inter a year on.
Roberto Carlos claimed Nerazzurri boss Roy Hodgson insisted on playing him as a winger when he preferred to play in defence and he left to join Real Madrid after one year.
Roberto Carlos left Real Madrid that summer and was keen on a switch to Stamford Bridge, but revealed that, after a meeting with the Blues owner, the transfer fell through.
He added: “I met with Roman Abramovich in Paris we spoke and there were a few things we couldn’t agree on.
“It was close but, in the end, it wasn’t possible.”