It seems as though Lucas Leiva’s time at Liverpool could be coming to an end. Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he will not stand in the Brazil international’s way should offers come in for him during the January transfer window, and Inter Milan are believed to be leading the race to earn his signature.
It is believed that the 2010 Champions League winners would be looking to sign Lucas on an initial loan deal until the end of the season with the move being made permanent in the summer.
Brought to Merseyside by Rafa Benitez back in 2007, it has been a steady stint at the club for Lucas. Over a nine year spell he has only managed to pick up one piece of silverware, which was the 2012 League Cup success when Liverpool beat Cardiff on penalties. Leiva did not feature in the final due to injury picked up in quarter-final of the competition, which left him sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.
And critics would argue that he has never quite been the same player since that return. That’s not to be harsh to Lucas, but many players are rarely the same after suffering an injury of such magnitude. That said, he was still trusted with over 70 Premier League appearances over the next three seasons under the helm of both Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp.
But this season his route to the first team looks to be have been somewhat curtailed, with the Brazilian falling down the pecking order. He has made just eight Premier League appearances, five of which have come as a substitute.
It’s here where Jurgen Klopp has decided to be honourable enough not to stand in Lucas’ way should an offer come in for him. In light of his lengthy years of service it seems as though his time is now coming to a natural conclusion with an amicable parting of ways.
With Lucas turning 30 at the start of next year, he is now at the age where he may feel he should be playing regular first team football and not have to be competing with a now diminished squad role.
First team football is something that Inter Milan can definitely offer. The Italian giants have gone through some turmoil this season after sacking Frank De Boer but there is no doubting the size of the club and a move here will offer Lucas a new challenge after such a long period of time in England.
With Jurgen Klopp’s squad being a continual work in progress it still is not quite what the former Borussia Dortmund manager would call his own group of players and this means that Lucas is another of the unfortunate ones that is shown the Anfield exit door.
Liverpool fans will certainly not forget the service that Lucas has given them in nearly a decade on Merseyside but unfortunately for him, he seems to be the forgotten man under Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool bid for a first league title since 1990.