Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has revealed that he was on the verge of leaving in the summer, but has committed his future to the Reds.
The 28-year-old is a player whose future has been up in the air a number of times over the last few years, with various clubs expressing an interest in signing him.
A move to Besiktas was reportedly set to be completed the day after Liverpool’s match at Arsenal, but injury to captain Jordan Henderson saw Lucas start that game and a u-turn was performed on allowing him to leave.
Lucas has admitted how close he was to leaving Liverpool, but claims his focus is now very much on helping Brendan Rodgers’ side improve.
“It’s been very intense [the window], to be honest,” he said.
“I think the last couple of years, every transfer window my name is [linked with a move].
“Of course there are times when you think you might have to move on and I was very close to moving but one thing I will always have is commitment to this club.
“I’ve been here so long and I always said if I had the choice to be here and be happy, I would always choose Liverpool.
“When your future is in doubt, you might have to think of another solution, but I’m happy that it didn’t happen and I’m here to fight for the club as I have been doing for eight years.
“I’m just looking forward to a good season and putting Liverpool back where it belongs. I have this chance to say I’m fully committed.”
The Brazilian also spoke about Liverpool’s 3-0 home loss to West Ham in their last Premier League outing, accepting that sometimes results of this kind happen in football.
“West Ham had a gameplan which was to be behind the ball and play counterattack,” he continued.
“Of course we conceded a very early goal, which makes it harder, and 2-0 down at half-time with two counterattacks it’s always harder to get back.
“We had a [red card]; probably our best player wasn’t with us after 10 minutes of the second half which made it even harder.
“We just have to now approach these types of games trying to be solid defensively as well because we know we’ll probably have a lot of the ball but these kinds of teams are very quick breaking and we have to make sure we control that as well.
“I think this result shouldn’t happen but it happens. We just have to move on and learn and hopefully going forward we don’t make the same mistakes.”
Liverpool’s longest serving player looks likely to start against Man United at Old Trafford on Saturday, and his influence in defensive midfield could prove vital for the Reds.