Lucas Leiva‘s 10-year association with Liverpool looks set to end this summer, with the 30-year-old admitting his desire to return to Gremio.
The Brazilian midfielder, currently the club’s longest serving player, is keen to play a first-team role next season and that won’t be on offer at Liverpool.
Lucas has explained that he could have returned to Gremio – where Liverpool signed him from in 2007 – in January but he wanted to complete 10 years at Anfield.
“There was an offer from Gremio in January but I wanted to complete 10 years at Liverpool,” he told Brazil’s Radio Atlantica.
“Now in the window we had a conversation, but nothing official. I do not hide my desire to return to Gremio, but there are several factors.”
The Liverpool Echo say that “Liverpool will allow Lucas to depart this summer should the deal suit both the player and the club.”
Lucas has come close to leaving the player several times in recent years, and was only retained last summer after Jurgen Klopp‘s falling out with Mamadou Sakho.
He made 19 starts last season, but with reinforcements at centre-back and in midfield expected this summer, chances next season would be few and far between.
Turkish side Besiktas, who Lucas almost joined on loan two years ago, are said to be interested but the player seems to want a return to Brazil for his family.