After Lucas Leiva’s Galatasary move fell through last week, a few brave rumour mongers took it as an opportunity to suggest the player could instead end up at Inter Milan. If the details of just why his Galatasaray move fell through are true, though, the safe bet would be on Lucas sticking around at Liverpool.
Talk in Turkey said a deal was all but done, a fee agreed, and that the player willing to make the switch in search of more regular starting minutes. At least until the moment it wasn’t. According to Metin Korkmaz, who was an intermediary for Galatasaray in the proposed deal, that was due to Jürgen Klopp’s intervention.
“Klopp was behind the transfer hitting the rocks,” Korkmaz told press in Turkey today, part of an attempt by Galatasaray to explain to their fans just went wrong with a deal most thought was done. “He wants Lucas to stay and the player had to listen. If it was just up to Lucas, he would have made the transfer.”
This is the second time Lucas has had a move to Turkey blocked by the Liverpool manager, as last summer Brendan Rodgers nixed a deal that would have sent him to Besiktas following an injury to Jordan Henderson. This time around, it’s centre half cover that has Liverpool’s new manager worried.
At present, Liverpool have just two fit senior centre halves in Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan, with Joël Matip currently working back to full fitness, long-term question marks surrounding Joe Gomez after a year out with a torn ACL, and Mamadou Sakho both injured and needing to prove himself to Klopp.
If Lucas does stay at Liverpool again this summer, he will be expected to be heading into his final year at the club. With just one year to go on his contract, if he is retained, he will be free to begin searching for a new club and to sign a pre-contract agreement with them in January.