Liverpool are prepared to offload midfielder Lucas this summer as they look to secure a deal for Southampton defender Dejan Lovren.
According to The Daily Express, the Saints are holding out to receive £25 million for the Croatian international centre-back - five more than has already been bid - and Liverpool are ready to allow Lucas to depart in order to fund such a move for a player who is clearly eager to leave St. Mary's in order to further pursue his career at Anfield.
Lucas has been with Liverpool for seven years now, having arrived on Merseyside from Campeonato Brasileiro Série A runners-up Gremio back in 2007.
Disappointingly for the 27-year-old, however, he has suffered a succession of injuries in that time that have frustratingly limited his appearances and effectiveness.
Indeed, Lucas made just 27 appearances last season as Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard established a formidable partnership in the heart of Brendan Rodgers' midfield.
Serie A calling
If Liverpool do follow through with their plan to discard Lucas, it appears likely that Serie A could be his next destination.
The Express - citing unnamed sources from Italy - further reports that Napoli are keen to sign the Brazilian, although the Italian club are supposedly looking to test the waters with an initial loan deal that could eventually lead to a permanent transfer.
As well the obvious advantage of joining a team who have generally been on the rise in recent years, a potential switch to the Stadio San Paolo would also see Lucas link-up with a certain Rafael Benitez, the manager who was originally responsible for bringing the player to Liverpool.
Inter Milan - another of Benitez's former clubs - have also been credited with an interest in Lucas in the recent past, although it remains to be seen if they will be eager to resurrect that pursuit now that Liverpool appear so keen to sell.
While Lucas will inevitably be reluctant to leave Anfield, a fresh start elsewhere could see him resurrect his international career.
Having already earned 24 senior international caps for the Selecao, he was unfortunately not included in Luiz Felipe Scolari's final 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup on home turf.
Despite Liverpool having already seen one bid for Lovren rejected, Rodgers does not appear to have lost interest in the centre-back.
For all of the attacking merit that saw them gain the support of many neutrals last season, Liverpool's surprising title challenge eventually faltered due to some woeful defending.
Lovren - who joined Southampton from Lyon last summer - only has one season of competitive Premier League football under his belt, yet evidence of his obvious class were there for all to see during a similarly superb season for the Saints under Mauricio Pochettino.
The South Coast club's initial reluctance to part with him is perfectly understandable, however, with fans already becoming slightly disheartened following the sales of Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.
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