Brighton & Hove Albion’s plans for their first season in the Premier League could include a move for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, reports claim.
Lucas marked 10 years as a Red on May 11, having joined from Gremio in a deal worth £5 million in 2007, but this season could well be his last on Merseyside.
The Brazilian is considering his options ahead of a decisive summer, with game time on the agenda as he mulls over what could be a significant change.
According to the Mirror, this could spark Brighton into action, with manager Chris Hughton targeting “top-flight ready players.”
Adrian Kajumba claims that Lucas “has been discussed as a potential signing,” and he could join the likes of Mark Lawrenson, Jimmy Case and Joao Carlos Teixeira in representing both clubs.
The Seagulls have already been linked with a move for Lucas’ fellow Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart, with the 23-year-old primed to leave this summer.
But Lucas could be a more attractive signing given his considerable experience in the Premier League, and a likely low valuation given his age.
Now 30, he has made 245 appearances in the English top flight, and is Liverpool’s current longest-serving player, blossoming into a leading role at Anfield.
The veracity of Kajumba’s claims is questionable, however, particularly given he claims Lucas “is out of contract this summer,” despite this being widely reported to be false.
Linking Lucas with a newly promoted side eager to bolster their midfield ranks is certainly convenient, with the veteran likely to be on the move.
That Stewart is already said to be on Hughton’s radar suggests Lucas has been named by association—and it would be no surprise to see Cameron Brannagan or Pedro Chirivella up next.
Lucas is, however, set for end-of-season talks with Jurgen Klopp, as he explained back in April.
“I am getting to the stage of my career where I think I can help a lot, off the pitch of course, but on the pitch as well,” he said.
“Playing time [will play a part], I wouldn’t like to just be around. I feel I have many years that I can still play at the top level.
“I need to analyse and see what is best for me and the club and then I am sure we will make a decision together.”
Brighton may be a sensible move for Lucas if he is eager for regular first-team football, but reports remain tenuous at this stage.