Lucas Leiva came up through Gremio’s youth system before breaking through and playing one full season for the Brazilian side. He was awarded the golden ball as Serie A’s best player for that season, and then he headed off to Liverpool in the summer of 2007 in a £5M deal.
Now, his old club would like to have him back. They’ve even reached out to the player about the possibility of coming home, though they admit that it would be rather difficult for them to bring the 30-year-old midfielder back into the fold, at least this summer.
“Lucas is a player who is in the fans’ imagination,” Gremio president Romildo Bolzan told UOL earlier this week. “He is a player who would be important to us, and we made an approach, but at the moment it doesn’t look possible and I don’t want to feed false expectation.”
The expectation is that Lucas will move on from Liverpool in the summer in search of playing time. The veteran appears to be a player Jürgen Klopp has some fondness for, and if he was content with a backup role a new deal might be possible, but that appears unlikely.
About as unlikely, it seems, as a return to Gremio this summer. More likely would be a move to Italy, where the more considered pace of the game would seem to suit a player who remains tactically astute but has at times struggled with the physical demands of playing in England following a torn ACL in 2011.
Wherever Lucas ends up, having now played ten seasons and 330 matches—and counting—for Liverpool, the player could be in line for a summer testimonial before he departs.