Galatasaray to wait “until Monday” before seeking alternatives to Lucas Leiva

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Galatasaray have handed Liverpool an ultimatum to sign off on their “agreement” to sign Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva.

The Turkish Super Lig side have pursued Lucas throughout the summer, with Jan Olde Riekerink highlighting him as a replacement for Felipe Melo, who left in 2015.

The 29-year-old is currently out with a hamstring injury, but that has not deterred Galatasaray, as board member Levent Nazifoglu told reporters this week.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, Nazifoglu revealed the club have an “agreement” with Liverpool over Lucas’ transfer.

But he stressed that Galatasaray would wait “until Monday” before moving to other targets, with Jurgen Klopp unsure as to whether to sanction his departure due to injuries within his squad.

“We have an agreement with Liverpool over the transfer of Lucas, but they are having second thoughts because of a number of recent injuries,” he explained.

“We will until Monday to see what happens.

“We will look at other options if the deal is not done by then.”

This serves as an ultimatum for the Reds, who now must make a final decision over the future of their longest-serving player.

ST. LOUIS, USA - Monday, August 1, 2016: Liverpool's Lucas Leiva walks off after being sent off against AS Roma during a pre-season friendly game on day twelve of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Busch Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lucas is unlikely to receive the game time he requires on Merseyside this season, with Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Marko Grujic among the competition for a starting role.

Moving to Istanbul would provide Lucas with a fresh start, and likely a key role under Riekerink.

But with Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez also on the treatment table heading into the 2016/17 campaign, Klopp wants to secure defensive cover before allowing Lucas to leave.

This may be swayed by the return of former Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, however, with the Cameroon international available for selection after missing the Reds’ pre-season tour of the US.

The 24-year-old can now vie with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan for a place at the heart of Klopp’s defence, with Sakho due to return at the start of the season.

The Frenchman is currently continuing treatment for an Achilles injury, after positive talks with Klopp, who sent him home from the US due to concerns over his attitude.



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