Although rumours of a bust up between Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and midfielder Lucas Leiva remain unconfirmed, a number of media outlets are reporting that the Reds will listen to offers for the Brazilian this summer after he was left out of the squad that beat Stoke City on Sunday.
Plagued by injuries over the last couple of years and continually falling down the pecking order at Anfield, the 28-year old has seen his playing time reduced drastically since the Northern Irishman took the reigns back in the summer of 2012. Making only sixteen Premier League starts last season, the veteran midfielder is thought to be unhappy with his current role at Liverpool, though he’s stopped short of making a transfer request — much like the Reds have stopped short of transfer listing him.
That being said, a number of sides are known to be interested in Lucas with Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini a known admirer of his many talents. Newly appointed West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has also been rumoured to be watching proceedings at Anfield with the former Besiktas supremo keen to add to his ranks before the transfer window closes.
While Liverpool remain unlikely to let the 28-year old join a Premier League rival, should he be allowed to leave Anfield, it could see the Reds make their reported interest in Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi more than just fodder for the back pages. The Los Blancos man has been linked with a loan move back to his former club Real Sociedad throughout the window, but it’s thought that the La Liga giants would prefer something a bit more permanent as they look to recoup some of the £34mil they paid for the 25-year old two years ago.