Serie A: Lazio's new signing Lucas Leiva says he left Liverpool 'to play more games'
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva said on Tuesday he had left 'one of the greatest clubs in the world' for a new life at Lazio.
London: Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva said on Tuesday he had left "one of the greatest clubs in the world" for a new life at Lazio.
The 30-year-old Brazilian, who played 346 times in his 10 years at Liverpool, after joining from Gremio in 2007, signed for the Serie A club after passing a medical in Rome.
British media reports said Liverpool had accepted a bid of five million pounds ($6.52 million) for Lucas, who has 24 caps.
In an open letter to the Premier League club's fans, he said the only reason he had left was "to play as much as I possibly can".
"The easiest thing for me to do would be to stay here for as long as I can, even if I do not expect to play so often," he said in the letter published on the club's website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
"But that would go against everything that I believe in as a footballer and as a competitor."
Lucas, who had been Liverpool's longest-serving current player, said: "Liverpool as a club and Liverpool as a city is a unique place. I think it's different from everywhere."
Lazio finished fifth in Serie A in 2016/17.
The left-back is manager Steven Gerrard's second signing in the January transfer window after Philippe Coutinho's loan arrival from Barcelona.
The club have cancelled Wednesday's pre-match press conference, at which Lijnders was due to speak.
The 26-year-old has not played a single minute since Rangnick took charge in November.