Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp blocked Lucas Leiva's attempts to join Turkish giants Galatasaray, according to the agent who attempted to broker the deal.
Lucas, 29, made 40 appearances in all competitions last season but looked to have been deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield ahead of the 2016-17 season. The Brazilian midfielder was briefly linked with a move to Newcastle United as a part of the deal that saw Georginio Wijnaldum move to Merseyside until an offer from Galatasaray came in.
Last week, the Super Lig champions giants revealed they had abandoned their pursuit of the former Gremio midfielder, with sporting director Levent Nazifolgu the club have instead turned their attention to other targets.
Football agent Metin Korkmaz, who negotiated with both Lucas and Galatasaray to get the deal done, now claims it was the Liverpool boss who had a change of heart, pulling the plug on the deal at the last minute despite the midfielder's wish to leave.
"Klopp was behind the transfer hitting the rocks, he wants Lucas to stay and the player had to listen," he said, the Liverpool Echo report. "If it was up to Lucas he would have made the transfer."
The Echo also suggest Klopp blocked the move because is keen to bring in a replacement before allowing the player to leave.
Lucas was not available for Liverpool's 4-3 victory over Arsenal on Sunday [14 August] on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, with the player nursing a hamstring injury. The midfielder suffered the problem in the pre-season win over Huddersfield Town and is not expectable to feature until at least the trip to Burnley.
Before returning for pre-season, Lucas admitted his future at the club was uncertain.
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."