Napoli close in on Lucas Leiva loan

The Liverpool midfielder could be reunited with former Anfield boss Rafa Benitez in Italy following the summer arrival of Emre Can on Merseyside from Bayer Leverkusen
By Marco Giordano

Napoli are close to completing a loan deal for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, Goal understands.

The Serie A side have reached an agreement with Liverpool over a season-long move for the Brazilian, who could reunite with former Anfield boss Rafa Benitez at Anfield.

9/1 Liverpool are 9/1 with Wiliam Hill to win the title this season
The deal would also involve a permanent transfer clause, which would be triggered once Lucas has played a certain number of games for Napoli.

But the Italian club are keen to lower the potential transfer fee, with Liverpool understood to want £10 million for the 27-year-old.

Lucas moved to Anfield from Gremio in 2007 and became a regular fixture in the Liverpool side under Benitez, though injuries have stalled his career.

But the signing of Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, and the return to fitness of Joe Allen, who was also signed by current Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, could see Lucas's first team opportunities limited next season.

Liverpool have also completed the signings of Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as former Benfica winger Lazar Markovic.

Goal understands the Merseyside outfit are also close to completing the signing of Loic Remy from QPR as Rodgers prepares his squad for Champions League football and the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.