Lucas Leiva is for available for sale and free to leave Liverpool for a fee of around £8M. This can now be taken as fact, despite that Lucas is the club’s only true defensive midfielder and a player who has consistently made the Reds a better side whenever he’s been played, both last season and over Rodgers’ tenure.
It has been reported by the Liverpool Echo and other journalists with ties to the club that, if somebody can meet their demands, Lucas will be gone. All of which means it’s open season on linking Lucas with potential landing spots, and the first two aren’t big surprises, as Inter Milan and West Ham have today been tabbed as interested partied.
Roberto Mancini has been a long time rumoured admirer of Lucas at Inter, so whether or not there’s any truth to the rumours, it’s hardly surprising the Serie A giants would pop up quickly. Inter do have Geoffrey Kondogbia and Gary Medel already on the books, but both are holding midfielders more in the destroyer mode than the metronome.
Mancini likes to keep things tight and controlled in the centre of the park, and there are few better than Lucas for setting a solid foundation in possession. What pace he may have lost to injury would be more than covered by playing alongside an energetic destroyer. Inter are looking to rebuild after a disappointing eighth-place finish.
For West Ham, meanwhile, Alex Song is back in Barcelona after West Ham passed on retaining the player, and they had to rely on 16-year-old Reece Oxford in their opener against Arsenal. They won the match and Oxford impressed, but at the end of the day he’s still a 16-year-old kid and it’s easy to see Lucas locking things down for Slaven Bilic’s side.
Meanwhile for Liverpool, there are conflicting reports over whether Lucas' sale would lead to the purchase of a new dedicated holding player or whether Brendan Rodgers is happy with Joe Allen in the role, with some rumours suggesting it is in fact his favouring of Allen for the position that has led to Lucas falling out with him.
Whatever Rodgers' decision, Lucas was key to last season's brief flirtation with competence and the top four, and being so eager to be rid of him could be a move that goes badly for Rodgers should things not work out on the pitch for the team he has built.