International

Inter to hold talks over Leiva

2015-01-22 19:05
Lucas Leiva (Getty Images)
Lucas Leiva (Getty Images)

Milan - Inter Milan officials have flown to London for talks with Liverpool over the possible transfer of midfielder Lucas Leiva, reports in Italy said Thursday.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has already signed Lukas Podolski from Arsenal on loan until the end of the season, while Bayern Munich forward Xherdan Shaqiri signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Nerazzurri two weeks ago.

Mancini is keen to boost his stuttering side ahead of what should be a desperate fight for a place in next season's Champions League, and Brazilian Leiva is still top of the Italian's winter transfer wish-list.

A report on La Gazzetta dello Sport website said Inter sports director Piero Ausilio had flown to London to thrash out a deal for the 28-year-old Leiva, who joined Liverpool from Gremio in 2007.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher recently hailed Leiva's contribution to the team, telling Monday Night Football: "He has had a big effect on the team and he's got to stay there.... they are getting victories on the back of his performances."

In the event the clubs fail to agree a deal, Inter could turn to Tottenham midfielder Paulinho.

Mancini's side are one of a possible seven teams aiming to finish at least third in Serie A and claim the league's third and last Champions League qualifying spot.

Inter currently sit ninth, 20 points behind leaders and champions Juventus but only seven behind Napoli and Sampdoria, who share third place. Roma, in second, are five points off the lead.

The second half of the Serie A season begins this weekend with Inter hosting Torino, while city rivals Milan, struggling in eighth place also 20 points behind Juve, face a tough away encounter at Lazio.

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