Besiktas have admitted defeat in their pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva after the Turkish club's president admitted that the Reds are unwilling to let the player leave this summer. The Brazilian midfielder was on his way out of the club, until a sudden U-turn by manager Brendan Rodgers after the Arsenal game, where he revealed that the player will remain with the club this season.
"Yes [he is staying]," the Liverpool boss said, according to Sky Sports. "Lucas is our best defensive midfield player. There are games where I play three midfield players but not always with a defensive specific one, but when we do need that, he is the best one we have. He came in tonight and done a great job and is very much part of what we want to do."
The Turkish club's head of transfers had admitted that Lucas was on the club's shortlist of targets for this summer, but the president has now confirmed that the Merseyside club is not willing to let him go this summer. Lucas has dropped down the pecking order following the emergence of Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Emre Can and the summer arrival of James Milner have further reduced his chance of regular game time at Anfield.
"Liverpool do not want him to go. The transfer can only go ahead with their say so there is nothing we can do right now," Besiktas president Fikret Orman said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
The 28-year-old midfielder still has two years to run on his current contract and despite the manager not guaranteeing regular game time, he is set to continue his stay at the Merseyside club. Rodgers has praised Lucas for his professionalism and revealed that he is a highly revered person in the team.