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Lucas Leiva was "very close" to Liverpool exit

Lucas Leiva admits that he came "very close" to leaving Liverpool, having been strongly linked with a move to Besitkas.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has admitted that he came "very close" to ending his eight-year stint with the Anfield club in the summer.

The Brazilian, 28, had seemed on the brink of completing a season-long loan move to Turkish side Besiktas last month, only for the switch to break down.

Having sat out the Reds' first two Premier League outings, Lucas has since started the last two, and the combative midfielder, who joined in 2007, says that he is happy he is still on Merseyside.

"[The window] been very intense, to be honest," he told Liverpool's official website. "I think the last couple of years, every transfer window my name is [linked with a move]. Of course there are times when you think you might have to move on and I was very close to moving but one thing I will always have is commitment to this club.

"I've been here so long and I always said if I had the choice to be here and be happy, I would always choose Liverpool. When your future is in doubt, you might have to think of another solution, but I'm happy that it didn't happen and I'm here to fight for the club as I have been doing for eight years.

"I'm just looking forward to a good season and putting Liverpool back where it belongs. I have this chance to say I'm fully committed. I've been here so long and I really love this club, I just need to now focus on my performance and help in the way the manager and the staff asked me to help. Hopefully, I'll be an important player for the club this season."

Lucas is out of contract with Liverpool in 2017.

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Lucas of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on October 26, 2013
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