Lucas Leiva
Leiva is targeting a swift exit from Liverpool. Getty/Alex Livesey

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has begun searching for a new club after making just three competitive starts in the opening three months of the season.

Lucas started the League Cup win over Middlesbrough but has been overlooked for much of the season, last appearing in the Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion at the start of October. In all, Lucas has been named in eight of the club's 12 matchday squads this term.

The Brazilian international has trickled further down the pecking order at Anfield following the signing of Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen and reveals he will reignite attempts to leave Liverpool after seeing a move to Napoli collapse last summer.

"I'm not speaking to anyone at the moment because I'm under contract, but I am looking around, given I am not playing," Lucas told Radio Marca.

"There was contact with Napoli last summer, but the parties didn't reach a satisfactory agreement. The situation at Napoli was not advantageous for everyone but despite that, I know Rafa Benítez has always had a lot of faith in me.

"I want to play but at the same time, I need to be patient. I need to find a solution, be it at Liverpool or some other club. In the past there were rumours linking me to Atlético Madrid, but there was nothing concrete.

"I must think about leaving as there is no room for me at Liverpool."

Lucas' intent to leave Liverpool marks a remarkable downturn in his status on Merseyside, having been earmarked by Brendan Rodgers as the fulcrum of his plans upon his appointment as Liverpool manager in the summer of 2012.

Rodgers had initially intended to build his team around Lucas but a succession of thigh and knee injuries which saw him miss swathes of last season has seen the likes of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen leapfrog him in the pecking order.