Lucas vows to remain at Anfield

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Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva hopes he is given the chance to stay at Anfield.

The 23-year-old has struggled at times during his spell with the Reds but has played down speculation linking him with a summer switch to Palermo.

"I'm happy in Liverpool and looking forward to my fourth season," he said.

"I hope I stay. I'm happy to play for Liverpool and to improve my performances, as I did last season.

"I'm not here to try to prove critics wrong. I'm here to prove myself to the manager and my team-mates.

"That's the most important thing. I don't know why people criticise me so much but I just try to be positive and be strong.

"I know I had a good season last season and hope it will be even better this season.

"I have to keep going and show the manager that I can play and have the quality that he expects."

Lucas has scored five goals in 121 first-team appearances for the club.

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