When last we checked in on Liverpool midfielder and bottle ring toss expert Lucas Leiva, the Brazilian was recovering from an unfortunate hamstring injury that will rule him out from the start of the new Premier League season. Injury notwithstanding, the persistent question marks around Lucas’ long-term future with Liverpool had congealed into some reasonably concrete interest from Turkey, specifically Süper Lig giants Galatasaray S.K. and a bid rumored to be in the neighborhood of £2.5M.
Despite Galatasaray manager Jan Olde Riekerink’s attempts to downplay the interest by stating that Lucas was “a very experienced and a very good player, but an option, and for now, nothing more than that,” it appears that the longtime Liverpool stalwart is poised to finally seal the deal on a departure from Anfield. According to Turkish paper Milliyet, and in reports subsequently appearing in the Sunday Express, Lucas has agreed to personal terms with Galatasaray, and the deal could be announced in the very near future. If true, the deal would bring an end to a nine-year Liverpool career for the fan favorite.
Under manager Jürgen Klopp, Lucas has shown versatility and a willingness to play whatever role is needed, filling in on occasion as an emergency centre-half and doing so more than capably. Klopp has been open about his admiration for Lucas’ qualities, but with a year remaining on his contract, and with age and health - sadly - continuing to be an issue, the club may figure that this is an opportunity to call time. It won’t be a unilateral decision: if he does depart, Lucas’ decision will also have been motivated by doubts about opportunities for playing time, with the arrivals of Marko Grujic, Gini Wijnaldum, and even Ragnar Klavan.
For some supporters, Lucas’ presence and versatility always represented a nice safety net, especially in light of the unfortunate knocks continuing to afflict various members of the squad. He is, however, a player who deserves regular first team football somewhere, and despite the open and mutual affection between the player and the club, it’s starting to appear that “somewhere” is not going to be at Anfield in the coming year.