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11 Aug 2015

I'll Quit: Liverpool in transfer-talks after angry bust-up with 'outstanding' £8m star snubbed by BR

It's been a long goodbye, but after being dumped from the squad for Liverpool's Premier League opener with Stoke, it appears that Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva is finally on his way out of Anfield.

According to the Liverpool Echo:

* Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for £8m-rated Lucas.

* Lucas was upset by the Stoke snub and is now 'considering his options'.

The Mirror further claims:

"There was a frank exchange with Brendan Rodgers. Inter Milan are ready to offer an escape route after opening a dialogue with the Reds over a deal".

Like Martin Skrtel (to an extent), Lucas is one of the last remaining relics of the Benitez era, and the opening day snub is the final nail in his Anfield coffin.

If he stays, Lucas faces the same fate as Kolo Toure: a bit-part player who rarely features, and a the age of 28, that won't appeal in the slightest. Indeed

Indeed, several times last season, Lucas made clear his frustration at playing a bit role at Liverpool, and hinted at a possible exit:

* Oct 2014: He warned: “I want to play. I need to find a solution either at Liverpool or at another club. [if] I don’t find space at Liverpool, I should start to make a move".

* Oct 2014: Lucas confirmed that Napoli tried to sign him over the summer: “There was something with Napoli. Benitez always had great faith in me.”

* Nov 2014: He told Radio Marca: "I must think about leaving as there is no room for me at Liverpool. I am looking around, given I am not playing".

* Dec 2014: Lucas's Agent, Henrique Coelho, told reporters: “Is it possible that Lucas could leave Liverpool in January? Yes, naturally. Lucas really likes Rafa Benitez.”

In December, Inter boss Roberto Mancini confirmed Inter's interested in signing Lucas, when he told reporters:

"[Lucas Leiva] is a great player, but he belongs to Liverpool and it's going to be hard to get him. He would be useful, though, as he can help us, and help our younger players grow."

After recent events, it probably won't be 'hard to get' Lucas, especially if Liverpool are listening to offers. Reds legend Mark Lawrenson wants Lucas to stay, though, and in a recent column for the Liverpool Echo, he noted:

"He [Lucas] is solid if unspectacular, but most teams need a player like that, even the top ones. There’s surely no chance Liverpool will let him go".

To be honest, I'd rather see Joe Allen leave. Unlike Allen - who is a man without a position - Lucas offers something to the team, and he's one of the few remaining players in the squad with significant Champions League experience.

There's also the injury situation to consider. Lucas - hailed in March by Jordan Henderson as 'outstanding' - is increasingly susceptibility to injury, and like Daniel Sturridge, he cannot be relied upon to stay fit for long periods of time.

Unfortunately for Lucas, Rodgers clearly favours Milner, Henderson, Can, and even Allen, which means there's no longer room for the Brazilian.It's a shame, as Lucas is a model professional, and a refreshing antidote to the avaricious mercenaries currently plaguing football.

In that regard, Lucas reminds me of Sami Hyypia, who also conducted himself with honour and dignity throughout his time at Anfield. However, unlike the Big Finn, Lucas is eminently replaceable.

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Author: Jaimie K


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