By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Liverpool are ready to open talks with Lucas Leiva over a new deal, Football Insider sources understand.

The Brazilian, who has been at Anfield for nine years, is out of contract in the summer of 2017.

Jurgen Klopp is a big admirer of Lucas and will sanction an extension for one of the club’s longest-serving players.

A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the 29-year-old is keen on a three-year deal that will run until 2019, although it remains to be seen if the club are prepared to tie him down until he is 32.

Lucas was close to leaving Merseyside last summer after falling out of favour but he has been a regular in the team since Klopp took over as manager.

The central midfielder has played 28 matches for Liverpool this season in all competitions, 22 of which have been starts.

He has also filled in at centre-back on a number of occasions as injuries limited Klopp’s defensive options.

Inter Milan and Besiktas were among the clubs who made offers to Lucas last year.