Lucas Leiva set to leave Liverpool after being left out of squad to face Stoke [Guardian]

Lucas Leiva looks to be heading out of the exit door at Anfield after Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers left the midfielder out of his squad during the Merseyside clubs 1-0 victory away at Stoke City on Sunday.

The Guardian reports that relations between the manager and the Brazilian are under strain as a result of the player effectively being demoted to Liverpool’s fifth choice central midfielder.

The 28-year old has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe, including Italian giants Inter Milan who were reportedly interested in signing Lucas back in January. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers did not want to sell him at the time, but is now open to offers for one of the clubs longest standing players.

Lucas Leiva has two years remaining on his current contract and is valued by the Reds at around £8million.

Lucas Leiva’s departure could mean Liverpool go back into the transfer market to bolster their options in midfield. The club have been heavily linked with Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi in recent days and it is understood that newly appointed Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez is open to offers for the 25-year-old.