Aston Villa will have been delighted to secure the signing of Brazilian defender Diego Carlos this summer, with the physical Brazilian arriving for a reported £26m. The 29-year-old arrived from Sevilla having formed a crucial part of Spain’s best defence last season and has to be regarded as a coup for Steven Gerrard.
It could well have been different however. Carlos was linked with a move away six months previously in the January transfer window, with Newcastle United interested at the time. In an interview with SportWitness, Sevilla General Director Jose Maria Cruz de Andres explained the chain of events in January.
“We received a good offer from Newcastle, from a financial standpoint. But the problem was it was in the middle of the season and Carlos was very, very important at that time for us. We had no chance to replace Carlos [in January]. We had been suffering a lot during the season with many injuries, especially defenders.”
“At the time, we were competing to win the league and had a chance to win the Europa League again, after being eliminated from the Champions League. The main reason to not accept the [Newcastle’s] offer was that it was not at the proper time.”
He did admit that Villa’s offer may well have eclipsed that of Newcastle, despite the ample resources available to the Magpies.
“At the end of the season, we received a new offer from a different team. It was probably better than the first one for the player.”
Carlos likely joins for a his final big contract after an enormously successful spell at Sevilla, including three consecutive top four finishes and a Europa League trophy. His physical presence and ability to bully strikers will likely serve him well in the Premier League too.