Match-winner Lucas Leiva will remain at Liverpool beyond the current January transfer window, according to Jurgen Klopp. The versatile midfielder headed home a Philippe Coutinho corner on Wednesday night (18 January) to notch his first goal since October 2010 as the seven-time FA Cup winners booked a fourth-round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to a narrow 1-0 replay victory over League Two promotion hopefuls Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
A long-term target for Inter Milan, Lucas, who has been linked with numerous clubs across Europe in recent years amid a lack of regular Premier League football, looked primed to finally complete a move to Serie A at the beginning of the month. Reports from Italy suggested that a medical was imminent with the Nerazzurri said to have agreed a loan deal encompassing the rest of the season that would also include an option to purchase the player on a permanent deal in the summer.
Such a switch never came to pass, however, with Inter instead opting to sign Italian U21 international Roberto Gagliardini from Atalanta. O Tempo have also mentioned Lucas in connection with a possible return to his homeland amid interest from Atletico Mineiro, although Klopp is eager to retain his services.
"From my point of view, yes," the manager was quoted as saying by The Mirror after the narrow win in Devon when asked pointedly if Lucas would stay at Anfield.
"What is definitely in this job? We have a kind of agreement. So I would say yes."
Lucas, who captained a youthful Liverpool side against Plymouth, has made 16 appearances across all competitions so far this term including just three top-flight starts. The 30-year-old, whose current contract is due to expire in June, almost ended his decade-long tenure on Merseyside last summer in order to complete a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray. However, Klopp was reported to have blocked the deal.