Liverpool midfielder Lucas thinks Reds can still attract star players

Players won't be put off by missing out on Champions League
Lucas does not feel Liverpool's failure to make the Champions League will put players off heading to Anfield in the summer.

The Reds' defeat by Chelsea last weekend ended their hopes of a top-four finish and they go into Sunday's final game of the season at Hull in seventh place.

Having to settle for a place in the Europa rather than the Champions League will also do little to ease the club's mounting debt, which the latest financial results revealed on Friday had risen to £351.4million from £299.8million in the year ending July 31 2009.

Those figures suggest boss Rafael Benitez is unlikely to have a transfer war chest, and his priority is likely to be hanging on to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, but Lucas feels Liverpool's reputation will still attract big names.

The Brazilian said, "Liverpool is still a big, big club. When you have played in the Champions League, everyone wants to play in this kind of competition.

"But even if we can't offer the Champions League, I'm sure the big names will still see Liverpool as a good option. Hopefully we will get some players to help us."

Liverpool's loss to Chelsea was their 11th in the Barclays Premier League this season, almost double the number they lost in the past two seasons combined.

Their bid for Europa League glory, having failed to make it past the group stage of the Champions League, was also ended at the semi-final stage by Atletico Madrid, and Lucas admits the team has to do better next term.

"We were all really sad and disappointed last week because we were expecting to do better this season - especially after what we did the season before," he added.

"All we can do is move forward and try and change what we did wrong. We have got to do everything we can to be better next season. Some players will go to South Africa for the World Cup, others will get a good rest.

"First we have got to try and finish with a victory. It will be difficult against Hull because they are already relegated and they will want to show their fans they care.

"We are not fighting for anything other than our pride.

"The top four is over after Tottenham played Manchester City but we have to carry on and see what will happen.

"We can't talk too much now. There will come a time to analyse what has happened and then we can start to think about improving next year."

He added: "Everything we did last week against Chelsea wasn't good enough and it has been this way all season.

"Sometimes we have conceded late goals, other times we have been unlucky. But the main thing is that we haven't done enough. That is absolutely clear. Now we have to wait and see what will happen.

"But if some players come here and they can help us, maybe we can improve next season. Rafa will know what we need. I will continue to do my job."

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