Napoli have reached an agreement with Liverpool over the transfer of Lucas Leiva. 

Reports in the Italian media today state that Rafa Benitez’s Napoli have reached an agreement with Premier League side Liverpool over the transfer of Brazilian Lucas Leiva.

The Brazilian defender has been deemed surplus to requirements at the Merseyside club and the performances he has put on in the recent past have certainly not helped his case.

Lucas has made 244 appearances for the Reds since his £5million move from Gremio in 2007. He enjoyed an excellent 2010/11 season under Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish. In fact, on a lot of occasions under Hodgson, Lucas was the only good performer on the pitch. The 27 year old was voted the Standard Chartered Fans player of the year for the 2010–11 season. His excellent run of form was cut short when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury after he collided with Juan Mata in December 2011. He was ruled out for the entire season and when he made his return against Manchester City in August 2012, he was again ruled out of action for three months due to a thigh problem. These recurring injuries hampered his game and Lucas has failed to make much of an impact under Brendan Rodgers.

The 27-year-old Brazilian midfielder started Liverpool’s opening weekend win over Southampton but didn’t even make the bench at the Etihad Stadium, clearly establishing that he is not part of Rodgers’ plans this season. Joe Allen and Emre Can are the two midfielders who are likely to fight it out for the holding role and would play alongside Steven Gerrard in the midfield.

The Gazzetta dello Sport today report that in fact Napoli have an agreement with the Reds already reached, to pay €1.8m for an initial season-long loan, with a purchase option at its conclusion set at €10m.

Liverpool insisted recently that they have had no approaches for Lucas since Napoli offered to take him on loan at the start of the summer. That was rejected and Liverpool will only allow him to leave if they receive a suitable permanent cash offer before next Monday’s transfer deadline.

It seems clear from these reports that even though the Brazilian is not part of the club’s plans this season, the Merseyside club want interested parties to pay straight up and don’t want to entertain loan deals for players they have no plan of holding on to in the future.