Belfast Telegraph

Lucas Leiva happy to stay for Reds' big trophy push

Premier League

By Rob Stewart

Lucas Leiva has committed his short-term future to Liverpool but the club's longest serving player has indicated he will leave Anfield in the summer.

The Brazilian has been linked with a move to Inter Milan but is willing to remain with the Reds for the time being to do his bit to bolster the club's three-pronged quest for honours.

"If, by the end of January, I am here, it will be great," Lucas said.

"This is the best place for me to be right now.

"But I cannot tell you in two months' time, four months' time or one year's time. I have to think about my future. But it is all good.

"I am happy in this moment and I just have to go day-by-day."

Lucas, who turned 30 earlier this month, underlined his worth as a squad player as his first goal in seven years settled the FA Cup third-round replay at Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday night.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp openly admitted afterwards that he hopes Lucas, who joined the club 10 years ago, does not leave during the current transfer window and it would appear their warm working relationship has won over the player.

"I have always been very honest in terms of the trust with him," Lucas added. "I had a few options to go.

"I have to think about my long-term. I know I don't have many years left here. I have to start to think about it. Liverpool is a place I love; there is no doubt about that.

"But this is more about thinking about my future as well. Game-time, things like this. I have to deal with it.

"The manager and I have a fantastic relationship. I have learned a lot from him. He is someone I appreciate working with. I am learning all the time. It is not just in terms of football, I am learning from him as a man."

Lucas has played just 16 times this season but with Liverpool vying for honours in the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup, he is clearly ready to put the club's priorities before his own.

Indeed, he showed his commitment to the cause at Plymouth, where he was only allowed to captain Klopp's team from central defence after a fitness test due to a knee injury

"I really enjoyed it," he said. "I was very in doubt about my fitness before the game. I did a session on Tuesday and I had a bit of swelling on my knee.

"But I spoke with the manager and I told him, 'I want to play - I want to be involved'."

Re-discovering his goal-scoring touch at Plymouth clearly put a spring in his step.

"It was my first official goal in a while," he said. "I scored in pre-season (at Fleetwood in a 5-0 win) and I'm the top scorer in 'young versus old' which is a game we have the day before matches!"

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