Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has sent out a warning to Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez that he will not be singing Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva.

Lucas has come under much criticism since he joined Liverpool three years ago from Gremi. However, it now appears they may have to fight to keep hold of him.

Despite this criticism he showed his true ability in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea at the weekend, which has led to further rumours suggesting that Rafa would like to bring the midfielder over to Italy.

Benitez was a strong believer in the 23 year old while he managed at Liverpool and rumours suggest that he is hoping to attract him away from Liverpool with a £5 million offer.

Lucas has been under greater competition to fight for his place in the squad this season, since the arrival of ex-Juventus and Denmark midfielder Christian Poulsen.

Despite this Hodgson is adamant that he will keep both players at Anfield, telling reporters: 'In Lucas and Christian Poulsen I am convinced we've got really useful players who will serve us to great effect during the rest of the season.'

The Liverpool boss has also put down any criticism surrounding the young Brazilian stating: 'I have listened quite patiently to lots of people and I realised when I came here there was a prejudice against Lucas and people had basically suggested he is not a good player.'

However, disagreeing with this view, he finished: 'I can only judge as I find - and I find him a very hard working, diligent player who is working hard on his understanding of the game and understanding about team performances.'

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