Anfield has been the scene of a tremendous amount of transfer activity already this summer, and Lucas Leiva's time as a Liverpool player may finally be coming to its end in the coming days.
The Brazilian has added fuel to fire of his speculated move to Napoli after Enrico Passarella of GianlucaDiMarzio.com reported that the player has removed any Liverpool affiliation from his Twitter bio. This Is Anfield confirms the change:
Lucas Leiva being linked with a loan move to Napoli, has removed reference of Liverpool from his twitter profile.— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) July 7, 2014
Passarella adds that Lucas has unfollowed the official Liverpool club Twitter account, and claims Napoli are keen to seal a deal that sees the midfielder follow in the footsteps of Pepe Reina and move to Naples on a temporary deal:
Lucas Leiva could soon join Napoli. Liverpool’s midfielder is among Napoli’s main targets. The English club would like to loan him with an obligation to buy related to some variables like the appearances of the player next season.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail claims Inter will give Napoli competition in bringing the midfield general to Serie A.
This isn't the first time that Lucas has raised question marks over his Merseyside future this year, either, after he left a mix of confusing comments on Instagram and Twitter in May.
Per James Orr of The Independent, Lucas posted on the former social networking site after his final game of the season, proclaiming: "Yesterday I finished my 7th season with Liverpool. I want to thank the ones who supported me all this years. #thankyou #goodbye."
However, he then backtracked on such quotes via Twitter, assuring Liverpool fans that the comment was made merely in regards to the 2013-14 campaign:
O tchau foi referente a temporada que terminou nada mais . The goodbye that I said it is about the season that finished nothing else.— Lucas Leiva (@LucasLeiva87) May 12, 2014
Lucas is yet to respond in terms of what the removal of his Liverpool occupation now means, but gossip will naturally gravitate toward the outcome that an exit from the club is near. What's more, Rafa Benitez, as was the case with Reina, will already have a steady relationship with the player.
Talk quickly turns back to the incoming names for Brendan Rodgers' squad, though, and latest speculation surrounds Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Speaking to the Miners' official website (h/t Sky Sports), Schalke general manager Horst Heldt affirms no contact has been made between the two clubs as of yet, though:
Most recently, I've read that Liverpool FC should have interest in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Liverpool, Klaas-Jan and also his adviser have not contacted us. And we also have no interest in selling the player.
The Dutchman is currently with the Netherlands national team at the World Cup, but will soon return to club duty, making any intentions of a Liverpool purchase that much easier to engineer.
At 30 years of age, Huntelaar isn't the most obvious of long-term replacements for the supposedly outbound Luis Suarez, and as Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports states, his style of play also differs greatly:
I read about Liverpool interest for Huntelaar. A player always underestimated. But nothing to do with the kind of player Suarez is...— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 3, 2014
Rickie Lambert's £4 million acquisition earlier this summer already gives the Reds a strong option capable of leading an attack, and one that's suited to the Premier League.
This raises some questions over what role Huntelaar would be expected to fulfil within the Liverpool squad should he join. However, with just a year left on his contract at the Veltins-Arena, "The Hunter" could once again be open to a cut-price move.