Lucas and Masch to miss start of season?

Brazilian midfielder Lucas has become the second Liverpool player to signal his intentions to play for his country in this August’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

Lucas shares Javier Mascherano’s ambitions for the summer, with the Argentine international hoping to play as one of the allowed over-23 players in the Olympic squad.

The games take place between August 8th and 24th, with the new Premier League season kicking off on August 16th and Liverpool involved in vital Champions League qualifiers in the weeks either side of the domestic season’s start.

The news could spell a problem for manager Rafael Benitez, leaving him short of central midfielders as the new season gets underway.

Both players would also be forced to join their countries for a fortnight of training before the games get underway in the Far East, which could cause major disruption to Benitez’s plans.

Lucas confirmed, “Hopefully I will be picked. That would mean I would start the pre-season here with Liverpool and then later on I would go to the Olympics.

“I need to wait for the squad to be picked but hopefully I will go.”