Galatasaray manager admits Lucas Leiva is “an option”, but no decision imminent

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Galatasaray manager Jan Olde Riekering has reiterated his interest in signing Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva this summer.

Galatasaray have been searching for a solution in the holding midfield role since the departure of Felipe Melo in 2015, with Lucas seemingly a prime target.

Speaking this week, Reikering described the 29-year-old as an “experienced” midfielder, with the Dutchman seeing Liverpool’s longest-serving player as a strong addition to his squad.

“Lucas is an option but we are looking at different players,” he explained.

“He is very experienced and a very good player but we are also looking at other players.

“He is an option but for now nothing more than that.

“I think we will have a couple of players in next week and we are taking the right steps to get them.

“Sometimes it happens early and sometimes it takes longer but for me it is better to make the right choice than the quick choice.”

Jurgen Klopp has already gone to work on his squad this summer and Joe Allen’s £13 million departure signifies a change of personnel in the Liverpool midfield.

Lucas, despite his experience and leadership skills, has been one of a number of senior players linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, with many already completing a switch.

The Liverpool midfielder has made over 300 appearances for the Reds and has previously worn the captain’s armband under Klopp.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 19, 2016: Liverpool's captain Lucas Leiva leads the team out ahead of the Shankly Trophy pre-season friendly match against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Since joining the Reds in 2007, Lucas has battled to win the hearts of the Anfield faithful but he’s struggled to land a regular starting position.

The midfielder, who is often used in a defensive role, has managed to prolong his Liverpool career due to a lack of similar options available to Klopp and, previously, Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool haven’t had a strong defensive midfielder for some time and apart from Lucas, the majority of the squad are more attack-minded.

However, Emre Can‘s development and Marko Grujic‘s arrival has reignited claims of Lucas’ departure and after releasing a number of senior players, it’s likely Klopp will be prepared to say goodbye to another should an appropriate offer come along.

As well as interest from Galatasaray, Lucas has attracted the attentions of Inter Milan and Napoli in the past, and should he depart, it’s likely he’ll make a switch away from the Premier League.

But, as Reikerling suggests, the Istanbul giants are yet to make a decision over their top target.



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