Villarreal are launching a concrete bid for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva.

The People says Lucas is being offered a surprise escape route by Villarreal.

The La Liga outfit have lost playmaker Marcos Senna for 10 weeks to a thigh injury and have contacted the Reds about a potential £4m transfer.

Lucas joined from Gremio in July 2007 for £12.7m and struggled to make an impression, although his form has improved and Villarreal have been watching his progress.

They have now decided he is the sort of player they are seeking to help them cope with Senna's absence.

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