By Danny Wright

Lucas Leiva has admitted that he has come close to leaving Liverpool in his time at Anfield.

The 30-year-old is set to go into talks over a new deal at the Merseyside club when the season ends as his current contract is set to expire.

Lucas is one of the senior players in the Reds squad, having made 342 appearances for the club since he signed from Brazilian side Gremio in 2007.

Jurgen Klopp is known for his love of young talent in his sides and many believe that Lucas doesn’t fit that philosophy.

However he has played in all but one of Liverpool’s last 11 Premier League games and has even supplied assists in wins against Everton and West Brom.

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Lucas is likely to put to bed any rumours linking him with a move away from Anfield but has said that Klopp is one of the reasons behind his decision to stay.

“Many times I was close (to leaving) or rumours were there, but at the end of the day it didn’t happen and the good thing is that the respect was always there between me and the club. It will always be a good decision for both parties,” he said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“If you relax when you’re not playing then I think something is wrong, that’s just my personality.

“But I know he’s the manager and he makes decisions for the team, it’s not just about one player. So I have to keep working to get more chances.”

Lucas has made 28 appearances for the Reds in all competitions this season, scoring once in the FA Cup win against Plymouth in January while wearing the captain’s armband.

He has 22 caps for the Brazilian international team but hasn’t played for the five-time World Cup winners since November 2013.

In other Liverpool news, fans have blasted this Man United player for his antics against Swansea on Sunday.

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