David Luiz ‘was wanted by Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’ after Arsenal exit with Ramos and Varane exits leaving a gap at the back… but move was scuppered by quota rules
- Brazilian defender David Luiz left Arsenal at the end of last season
- He received plenty of interest from clubs around Europe and the Middle East
- He also reportedly received a call from new Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti
- The pair worked together briefly at Chelsea during the 2010-11 campaign
- Ancelotti saw defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane leave this summer
- But club’s quota of non-EU players was already full and the deal didn’t happen
David Luiz ‘was wanted by Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’ after departing Arsenal over the summer – but red tape scuppered the move.
Ancelotti feared the Bernabeu club would be light in defence following the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively.
Although Real had brought in David Alaba following the expiry of his Bayern Munich contract, their new manager reportedly felt one more centre-back was necessary.
David Luiz could have ended up at Real Madrid following his Arsenal exit earlier this year
Ancelotti signed Brazilian defender Luiz in January 2011 when he was Chelsea manager
According to the Brazilian newspaper Globo, Ancelotti called Luiz, who would have been available for nothing after his Arsenal contract ran down.
The pair previously worked together at Chelsea during the second half of the 2010-11 campaign after the Brazilian signed from Benfica for £21.3million in the January window.
However, Ancelotti’s attempts to recruit the 34-year-old failed because Real had already fulfilled their quota of non-EU players in the squad.
Luiz’s Brazilian compatriots Eder Militao, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo effectively put paid to his move to the Spanish capital.
Incoming manager Ancelotti feared Real would be short at the back after Sergio Ramos (left) and Raphael Varane (right) left the club during the summer
Luiz played 73 times for Arsenal over two years and has since joined Brazilian club Flamengo
In the end, Luiz moved back to Brazil and joined Flamengo despite interest from Everton, West Ham, Benfica, Lazio, Marseille, Lille and the Qatari club Al-Rayyan.
Globo report that his former club Benfica made the most persistent efforts but couldn’t free up space in their budget by offloading players.
Al-Rayyan offered Luiz £12million for a two-year contract and their French coach Laurent Blanc called the player to try and sell the opportunity.
Luiz ruled out any potential move to Marseille because of his connection to their rivals PSG, where he played for two years before returning to Chelsea in 2016.
The defender played 73 times for Arsenal over his two seasons there but never looked entirely convincing in an under-achieving side.