Lucas Leiva leaves Liverpool to join Lazio

Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva has ended a 10-year association with Liverpool after signing for Lazio in a deal reportedly worth £5 million pounds.

The 30-year-old defensive midfielder was the Reds’ longest-serving player, but had slipped down the pecking order following the arrival of Jurgen Klopp as their manager in 2015.

Lucas made 12 Premier League starts last term and a further 12 appearances off the bench, but was often utilised as a makeshift centre-back by Klopp.

However, the Brazil international has been brought to Rome to fill a specific role as a replacement for Lucas Biglia, who recently moved to Serie A rivals Milan.

Both clubs confirmed the transfer on Tuesday, although no other details were released, but Lucas thanked fans of the Merseyside giants for their undying loyalty.

“Liverpool as a club and Liverpool as a city is a unique place. I think it’s different from everywhere,” he told the English club’s official website.

“The fans are a big part of the club, probably the most important part of the club, and without them Liverpool wouldn’t be the same club I would say.

“Thank you for all the support, especially in difficult times, that’s when it means a lot. We all know that Liverpool fans are really special and they were always here for me.

“I’ll always be watching and supporting Liverpool and for sure I’ll be back, in the city to visit friends and watch games in the future.”

Lucas racked up 247 top-flight matches for the Reds over a decade, scoring a solitary goal against Newcastle in 2009.

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