The Brazilian midfielder left Anfield for Serie A side Lazio, but the Reds coach has left the door open for his return in a few years
Jurgen Klopp wants Lucas Leiva to return to Liverpool at the end of his playing career, vowing to “find a place for him” if the coach is still in charge.
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The Brazilian midfielder ended his decade-long stay at Anfield by agreeing a three-year deal at Lazio this week, having slipped down the pecking order on Merseyside.
Lucas started only 12 league games for Klopp last season but the German is hoping he gets the chance to work with the 30-year-old again in the future.
“He loves Liverpool. It’s unbelievable,” Klopp told ESPN. “He comes from Brazil – it’s a nice country and the weather is much better.
“He could imagine staying in Liverpool for the rest of his life. I told him that the door is always open for him after his three years and [if] I’m still here, of course, then we will find a place for him.
“I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic coach or manager.”
Klopp confirmed Lucas requested to leave Liverpool in a bid to get more first-team football with Lazio, who finished fifth in Serie A last season.
“Things change but Lucas is a special case,” Klopp said. “He asked for it. I would say he’s a friend. He’s a fantastic person. How I know and how he knows, he has a few issues when he’s not playing!
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“But we always had a very respectful understanding. It was really good. When he left, we both had a little tear in our eye. It was really a special moment.
“For the team, it’s difficult. It’s the age and it’s life. He could sign a long-term contract in Rome and how can I say: ‘You stay here, but I don’t know if you sign a new contract and I don’t know how often you will play next year’. So you need to be honest, especially with a player like him.”