Lucas - Reds still attractive
Lucas Leiva does not believe Liverpool will be hindered by failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Last Updated: 08/05/10 5:50pm
Lucas Leiva does not believe the calibre of player Liverpool can sign next season will be hindered by failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds' hopes of a top-four finish were extinguished last weekend as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on home soil and the Merseysiders head north to relegated Hull City on the final day of the season in seventh position, two points off sixth-placed Aston Villa.
With a Europa League berth offering significantly lower income than the Champions League money boss Rafael Benitez normally commands, plus owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks' decision to put the club up for sale, the Spanish tactician - should he remain at the helm - looks likely to have a tiny transfer kitty to do business with.
But Lucas, one of Liverpool's better performers this season, insists the club can still lure the top names to Anfield through reputation should they be able to afford new targets.
"Liverpool is still a big, big club. When you have played in the Champions League, everyone wants to play in this kind of competition," said the Brazilian midfielder on the club's official website.
"But even if we can't offer the Champions League, I'm sure the big names will still see Liverpool as a good option. Hopefully we will get some players to help us."
Liverpool's loss to Chelsea was their 11th in the Premier League this season, almost double the number they lost in the past two seasons combined.
Their bid for Europa League glory, having failed to make it past the group stage of the Champions League, was also ended at the semi-final stage by Atletico Madrid, and Lucas admits the team has to do better next term.
"Everything we did last week against Chelsea wasn't good enough and it has been this way all season," he said.
"Sometimes we have conceded late goals, other times we have been unlucky. But the main thing is that we haven't done enough. That is absolutely clear. Now we have to wait and see what will happen.
"But if some players come here and they can help us, maybe we can improve next season. Rafa will know what we need. I will continue to do my job."