5 Possible Transfer Destinations for Liverpool Midfielder Lucas Leiva
One of the longest serving players at Anfield, the Brazilian overcame early difficulties to become a firm crowd favourite. However, long-term injury concerns have held back his career over recent campaigns.
As yet unable to hit full stride under Brendan Rodgers and unlikely to be a first-choice player this season, it remains to be seen whether the Brazil international will be content to remain at Anfield.
Should he leave, where could he end up?
Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is well known to be on the hunt for a central midfielder this summer and may fancy a reunion with former charge Lucas should the opportunity arise.
Goal.com's Marco Giordano reported on July 20 that the basic principles of a loan arrangement were in place between the two clubs. However, it would appear there have been no further developments since.
Of all Europe's bigger leagues, Italy's Serie A may be most suitable for Lucas at this stage of his career.
Perhaps wary of Lucas' previous injury record, the Milan club are looking for a loan prior to a permanent move. Meanwhile, Inter have also been linked to the likes of Cardiff's Gary Medel in recent weeks, per Drayton.
Yann M'Vila has already arrived, but the Nerazzurri are still seeking reinforcements as the Erick Thohir era gets off to a bold start.
If there is one club that loves a player with a questionable injury record and high wages, it is Harry Redknapp's QPR side, and the London club are once again in the market heavily this summer.
Recently linked with a move to Loftus Road was Colombian defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez, per a report in the Mirror, suggesting it is an area of interest for Redknapp.
Given Leiva's years of Premier League experience, he would be an attractive target for the newly promoted side as they seek to establish themselves in the top flight.
Part of the issue with Lucas leaving Anfield is that his wages place him out of the reach of most European sides. However, the Middle East remains an option.
Now 27 and already severely impacted by injury, the proposition of a mega-money move to Qatar or the UAE could be attractive to a player already struggling to impact the national team setup.
After a couple of seasons, a return to Brazilian domestic football could then beckon.
Perhaps the most attractive option to Lucas from a personal point of view would be a return to Brazilian football with childhood club Gremio, if a loan move is the only offer forthcoming.
Gremio could not afford to sign the player permanently at present, but they could easily put together a loan package of sorts with the help of sponsors. A former star returning would be a major coup.
If Liverpool hope to free up a squad space and cut back on some expenditure, it could be a fine solution for all concerned.