Liverpool turn down £5m Palermo bid for Lucas Leiva
Liverpool have rejected a £5 million bid for defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva, according to the People.
The Merseyside club have been in negotiations with Italian club Palermo over the 23-year-old, but the Serie A side have failed to reach Liverpool’s £8 million valuation of the player.
The talks have been headed by Liverpool Managing Director Christian Purslow, with Roy Hodgson having no say in the deal which took place before the former Fulham boss took over at Anfield.
Although Roy Hodgson would like to keep hold of the Brazilian midfielder talks are in too advanced a stage for the 62-year-old to have any influence over the sale.
Palermo are believed to be willing to match the asking price for Lucas though they would first have to sell a number of surplus players in order to fund the move for the former Brazilian young player of the year.
Austrian midfielder Paul Scharner, who is now a free agent, is being touted as a potential replacement for the Brazilian with Hodgson being a great admirer of the former Wigan player.
But Hodgson may also have to look for someone to replace Javier Mascherano who is expected to leave Merseyside in the summer with both Inter Milan and Barcelona showing interest in the Argentina captain.
Meanwhile Moroccan winger Nabil El Zhar has stated he would like a move away from Anfield after becoming frustrated with a lack of first team opportunities.
El Zhar has had few first team chances since arriving on Merseyside from St Etienne in 2006 for on undisclosed fee, and believes it is best for his career if he leaves the club for pastures new.
“I want to leave Liverpool. I do not play often enough.” El Zhar told the Moroccan media.
“I’m 23 and I cannot afford to only play a few bits of games. There are several European clubs interested and I will not close any doors.”