Newcastle reportedly want Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva as a part of the deal involving the transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum to Anfield.
Brazilian Lucas Leiva joined Liverpool from Brazilian club Gremio for a reported fee of £5 million in July, 2007. The defensive midfielder quickly became a key player for the Reds and was a mainstay in the starting XI at Anfield. Lucas has made 222 Premier League appearances for the club and has also been given the honour of wearing the captain’s armband for Liverpool on a few occasions.
Despite making 27 Premier League appearances last season, the Brazilian’s future at the club remains uncertain. The midfielder himself admitted that he knew manager Jurgen Klopp was likely to buy players to strengthen his squad ahead of his first full season as the manager of Liverpool. Lucas suggested he was unsure where the signings would leave him in terms of his role as a starter, and was reportedly on his way to Turkey after being heavily linked with a move to Besiktas. However, the move failed to materialise.
Liverpool have been reported to be targeting Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum with Klopp wanting to bring the former PSV player to Anfield. The Reds were rumoured to be offering the Magpies £20 million for the player, but Newcastle are holding out for a slightly higher fee, as per Newcastle Chronicle.
The Telegraph has now claimed that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez wants Lucas Leiva to be a part of Liverpool’s offer for Georginio Wijnaldum. Benitez was the one who brought Lucas to Anfield from Brazil during the Spaniard’s reign as Liverpool manager and Rafa reportedly remains a “huge admirer” of the player. The Magpies are likely to face a tough challenge in convincing the former Gremio man to move to the Championship, with Lucas understood to be reluctant to play in the second tier of English football.
It is reported that Rafa Benitez is set to offer the defensive midfielder the captain’s armband in a bid to convince the Brazilian to accept the offer and reunite with his former boss. The 29-year old would command respect from his teammates if he does decide to make the move and accept the captaincy given his vast experience in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen on confirming a transfer for Wijnaldum before their preseason tour in the United States and Lucas Leiva is most likely to be on the fringes of the squad due to the recent signings made by the club. Newcastle want the defensive midfielder to lead them back to the top and are most likely to have no trouble with the Brazilian’s wage demands as the Tyneside outfit remain financially stable despite the relegation. A deal could happen in the coming days with both the managers getting their hands on their respective targets.