Filipe Luis claims he had the chance to join Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund or Paris Saint-Germain this year before opting to return home to Brazil with Flamengo.
The veteran left-back brought his nine-year association with Atletico Madrid – via a year away at Chelsea – to an end this summer when his contract expired.
With league titles in Spain and England, two Europa Leagues and two Champions League finals to his name, the Brazil international was a wanted man at some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
“From January until March I had an offer from Manchester City, but it didn’t work out,” Luis 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.”
Manchester City eventually signed Angelino back from PSV to provide competition and support at left-back, while Lyon brought in Youssouf Kone to replace Real Madrid-bound Ferland Mendy.
Luis, 34, says he was at one point close to joining PSG, and that he seriously considered another offer from Bundesliga title contenders Dortmund.
“I had a contract with Atletico and an absurd offer came in [from PSG], one that I couldn’t refuse,” he said.
“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’.”