By Tom Blackburn
An agent employed by Galatasaray has claimed that Jurgen Klopp prevented Lucas Leiva from joining the Turkish giants.
Galatasaray sporting director Levent Nazifolgu has previously been quoted as saying the transfer collapsed when Liverpool pulled the plug.
Agent Metin Korkmaz now says that Lucas wanted to end his nine-year spell at Liverpool and it was only the personal intervention of Klopp that prevented him from doing so.
“Klopp was behind the transfer hitting the rocks, he wants Lucas to stay and the player had to listen,” Korkmaz said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“If it was up to Lucas he would have made the transfer.”
Lucas, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was close to joining Besiktas 12 months ago only for an injury to Jordan Henderson to prompt then manager Brendan Rodgers to stop the deal going through.
The Brazilian holding midfielder joined the Anfield club in 2007 and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for Klopp’s team, while also appearing 22 times for his national side.
He has developed himself into one of the most consistent performers in the red shirt over the last few seasons.
Lucas has been a key figure at Anfield over the past decade, having won the club’s ‘Player of the Year’ award in 2011.
He would leave the Merseyside giants having won just one major honour, the English League Cup in 2012.
In other Liverpool transfer news, a Sky reporter says they have responded to a £23million-plus-£7million-add-ons bid.