"We have agreed terms with Liverpool on all fronts, [though] there is some concern regarding Lucas' injury but all that remains now is for Klopp to make his decision," said Galatasaray's sporting director, Leven Nazifoglu, according to multiple Turkish outlets. Breathe.
"If it goes ahead it will happen on Monday, otherwise we will have to look elsewhere," Nazifoglu added, ruining many a Red's Saturday night or Sunday morning. Winter has come, folks, and it appears Lucas Leiva may be leaving Liverpool after nine years on Merseyside.
Football can be a bleak wasteland at times, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. Football is also a show "where the players act with their legs for an audience of thousand or millions who watch from the stands or their living rooms with their souls on edge."
A true philosopher, Eduardo Galeano wrote those words in Soccer in the Sun and Shadow, and among myriad other astute observations, noted that "sometimes football is a pleasure that hurts, and the music of a victory that sets the dead to dancing sounds a lot like the clamorous silence of an empty stadium, where one of the defeated, unable to move, still sits in the middle of the immense stands, alone."
If there was a player whose departure elucidates the ruthlessness of football, Lucas is it. 313 appearances and nine years after joining Liverpool under Rafa Benitez, it appears Lucas is set to leave. If there was a player that understands what it means to don the heavy jersey, Lucas is it.
After suffering untold abuse from the moment he set foot on the Anfield pitch and nagging rumors he was on the way out nearly every window, Lucas won over much of the fanbase with his tireless commitment to our club. The arc of his career is well-plotted and not worth rehashing here except to say that even after he tore his ACL at the peak of his powers Lucas made himself useful enough to keep a place in the squad under multiple managers.
Jürgen Klopp's recent comments made it appear Lucas was needed for defensive cover, and one would think the injury to James Milner on Saturday would only further highlight the need for same. All things pointed to an Anfield stay. Yet, here we are, waiting for the proverbial sword of Damocles to drop on Monday.
Football is a funny game, creating a religious following of the club at large despite ostensibly maintaining players are fungible. But players are people, and people are agents, and while some players are larger than life in the most demonstrative way, others are left to do the dirty work.
It is not often a player truly understands (or cares to understand) the soul of the club that employs him, but Lucas is the anthropomophized apotheosis of the eight piano carriers. As a firm believer in Liverpool's avowed socialism, the idea of Lucas leaving is a bitter pill to swallow. A true servant in every sense of the word, Lucas gives the impression he reads Ignatius before going to bed each night. A tactician of the highest order, it's hard to believe there is no place for him in the coming campaign, but if Lucas does leave, we wish him the best and do our best to figure out a way to nurse the pain in our soul.
You'll Never Walk Alone, Lucas. It was a joy to watch you in Red.