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Lucas Reportedly Available—But Not on Loan

While reports suggest Liverpool would sell Lucas Leiva for around £8M, the club are not actively seeking to offload him and so he will not leave this summer on loan.

Bryn Lennon

With Lucas Leiva left out of the squad entirely last night against Manchester City following earlier rumours that Napoli were interested, putting two and two together and getting he's for sale isn't that hard to do. And from the reliable Liverpool Echo to the less reliable Mirror, that's what just about everybody seems to be doing today.

However, while earlier rumours suggested a loan was possible, it appears now that while Lucas would be available for the right price, the club are not actively shopping him. This means that if he were to leave before the window closes, it would only be on a permanent deal, and the suggestion is the club have placed an £8M valuation on him.

It's far below the £15-20M fee he likely would have fetched at his peak, but a string of injuries and Brendan Rodgers' insistence on judging defensive players by their attacking qualities has seen his playing time and importance to the squad diminished. However, with Liverpool returning to the Champions League this season, it seems likely he would be needed at some point.

The 34-year-old Steven Gerrard, no matter one's view of him as a holding player, seems unlikely to be able to play every match in England and Europe, and a pre-season double-pivot pairing of Lucas with Emre Can was an intriguing look as a possible option for when the captain isn't chosen. Over the season, it's a pairing many would have expected to see fairly often.

It all adds up to a situation where Lucas might well like to leave in search of playing time, and where Liverpool might be willing to sell for what they consider a fair fee, but one where it wouldn't make sense for the club to actively push him out the door. If he were to leave, it would also mean needing to bring in at least one more midfielder before the close of the window.

So far, there is no sign as to whether Napoli—or any other club, for that matter—is likely to step up and pay the £8M asking price to get a permanent deal done.

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