Lucas Leiva says “the need for a new challenge” prompted his move to Lazio but reveals “I was close to Inter in the past.”
Lucas ended a 10-year spell with Liverpool over the summer to replace Lucas Biglia at Lazio, but the midfielder suggested he could have plyed his trade in Serie A sooner, had then-Inter boss Roberto Mancini got his way.
“When my agent called me and offered me the chance to join Lazio, I gave it serious thought,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“After 10 years at Liverpool, I needed a new challenge and Lazio, the Italian League, the city of Rome, they were all very good things for me deciding to come here.
“Last season also influenced me as it was a good one for Lazio, and there was the opportunity of playing in the Europa League, which clinched my decision.
“I understand how important it was for me to accept their offer. I was close to Inter in the past.
“There’s no single reason why nothing came of it. For a transfer to happen, three or four things have to come together. Timing also matters.
“It’s true that Mancini wanted me. He knew of me from his time in England. I played against City on so many occasions, but nothing was agreed between Liverpool and Inter.”