Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva looks set to remain at Anfield for the time being after Galastaray officially withdrew from attempts to sign the Brazil international. The 29-year-old is concerned his nine-year association with the Reds is close to coming to an end however he remains with the Merseyside club.
Lucas made 40 appearances in all competitions last season but found opportunities hard to come by under Jurgen Klopp. Though Joe Allen has departed for Stoke City, the arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to see first team chances dwindle further and could yet lead to his exit during the remaining three weeks in the summer transfer window.
But the latest development on Lucas' future is that Turkish giants Galatasaray are no longer interested in the Liverpool man, and are seeking alternative options this summer. Sporting director Levent Nazifoglu said, according to the Liverpool Echo: "We are no longer pursuing Lucas Leiva, we will continue efforts to sign alternative names instead."
The Liverpool Echo understands that though Galatasaray claim to have withdrawn from talks to sign Lucas, that Klopp has blocked his departure to the Super Lig. Though the German coach does not see a future for the ex-Gremio man beyond the summer he is keen to bring in cover before allowing Lucas to leave.
Klopp is not expected to have Lucas available for the opening fixture of Liverpool's Premier League season against Arsenal on Sunday [14 August], with the player nursing a hamstring injury. Lucas suffered the problem in the pre-season win over Huddersfield Town and is not expectable to feature until at least the trip to Burnley.
Prior to returning to pre-season training with Liverpool, Lucas was well aware the summer would be full of speculation over his future. "There have been some changes last season, with the coaching. I still don't know exactly what will be my role within the group, but I am returning on Thursday to start the pre-season," he told Radio Jovem Pan.
"It is the first transfer window that Klopp will participate in more actively in for Liverpool, so I'll have a better idea when I return [for pre-season]. Whatever happens, the idea, as always, is to remain in Europe, mainly in England, which has a very strong and good league to play in."