Lucas Leiva’s near-decade spell at Liverpool could be about to come to an end.
Sky Sports have corroborated reports in the Guardian on Monday that the Brazilian midfielder is in talks with Inter Milan about a possible loan deal to take him to the San Siro until the end of the season.
The 29-year-old’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season – and with no sign of an offer of an extension, and move away from Anfield now – even on a loan deal – would almost certainly spell the end of his time at the club.
Lucas has started just three Premier League games all season – all in central defence – as he has become manager Jurgen Klopp’s fourth-choice centre-half rather than a midfield option. As such, he is said to be keen on making the move, as are Liverpool.
Having been signed by Rafa Benítez from Brazilian side Gremio in 2007 for a fee of £5m, Lucas initially struggled to win over the Liverpool fans. A naturally attacking player, Benítez retrained the then-youngster as a more defensive-minded midfielder, but his struggle to adapt to his new role earned him the reputation as something of a scapegoat when things were not going well.
Indeed, he was nearly sold by Roy Hodgson in 2010 when Palermo came in with a £4m offer, but he rejected the deal with the Serie A side and has since become something of a cult hero at the club.
The report goes on to state, however, that the finances could be a problem. Liverpool would require that Inter pay the player’s wages in full for the duration of the loan – something which the Nerazzurri would not be minded to do having spent a significant amount in the summer.
That being said, wages are unlikely to be a deal-breaker considering how eager all parties are to get this transfer done.
After over nine years and 324 appearances, Lucas appears highly unlikely to make it a decade at Liverpool.