Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva could be on his way to Inter Milan in the January window. A source close to ESPN FC has claimed that the Reds will not block any move from Inter for the Brazilian and the only stumbling block is what kind of deal it would be.
This is a total shift on the stance taken up by Jurgen Klopp a few weeks ago when he declared that no first-team player would be leaving in the winter window.
That does not seem to hold for the 29-year-old Brazilian as his game time has reduced under Klopp this season. Lucas has been primarily used as a centre-back as the Reds have a lot of quality in their midfield. But not that the German manager believes that Joe Gomez could be the player that provides cover for the defence in the second half of the season.
Gomez had been out for almost 13-months due to an injury but has returned to the U23 side as he looks to regain his match fitness. The 19-year-old did have a great start to his career under Brendan Rodgers and was the left-back for the side in the opening games of last season, although he can play as a central defender as well.
A permanent deal or loan option for Lucas?
As stated by ESPN, Inter have been looking for a quality midfielder for their side and it isn’t the first time Lucas has been linked with a move to Italy. The 29-year-old certainly would be able to perform on a regular basis in the Serie A and this would also ensure he gets to regularly play for a top team.
The Serie A club and Liverpool just need to thrash out if the deal for Lucas is a six-month loan till the end of the season or a permanent deal for the Brazilian.
Lucas had joined the Reds from Gremio in 2007 and has been a loyal servant to the club. The Brazilian had been linked with a move to the Turkish league in the summer but that was shot down by the Reds. The Merseyside club did not have enough defenders at the time and even Mamadou Sakho has been suspended from the club and frozen from the first team.
The source also believes that the loyalty shown by Lucas and his decision to stick with the club in the summer will ensure that the Brazilian does get his move away from the club. The 29-year-old is the longest serving player at the club and his departure will certain end an era at Anfield.
Lucas has only made six starts in all competitions this season and hopefully, he can continue doing the good work at Inter. The pressure will now shift on the young shoulders of Joe Gomez and it will be interesting to see just how Klopp uses him.
Gomez would be most comfortable as a centre-back but with a history of playing as a left-back, James Milner might be getting awell-deserved break soon.