Legendary Brazil wing-back Roberto Carlos has admitted he held talks over a move to England three times during his career.
The full-back, now 44, retired from the game back in 2015 after a highly-successful 24-year playing career.
Although he spent spells in Italy and as far afield as India, it was his time at Real Madrid where the player will be best remembered.
However, speaking to The Sun, Roberto Carlos has admitted he could have moved to the Premier League three times during his career – and two of the clubs may raise an eyebrow.
“I actually came close to joining Aston Villa early in my career,” the player told The Sun.
“I met with the club, but nothing happened.
“Birmingham City were also interested, but it didn’t go anywhere and I later joined Inter Milan.”
Villa chairman Doug Ellis was thought to have been impressed with Carlos’s performance in a friendly for Brazil against Sweden at Villa Park, but Little vetoed the signing. The club would purchase Gareth Southgate that summer instead.
Roberto Carlos never did play in England, but again came close to joining a Premier League side upon his departure from Real in 2007.
He would hold talks with Premier League champions Chelsea, but eventually joined Fenerbahce that summer.
“I met with Roman Abramovich in Paris we spoke and there were a few things we couldn’t agree on,” he said.
“It was close but, in the end, it wasn’t possible.”