Steven Gerrard hopeful that Lucas Leiva opts to stay at Liverpool

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has said he hopes Lucas Leiva will stay at the club, believing there is "always a place" for him at Anfield.

Midfielder Lucas has been at Liverpool for over a decade but is planning talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about his future at the end of the season.

Gerrard, who captained Lucas for eight years, hailed the 30-year-old's personality.

"I just smile when I think of Lucas because I've spoken about the player and what he gives to the team with and without the ball, but the person is just as important for me," he told the club's official website.

"He is certainly one of the best people I've met through my career. I've got plenty of time for him.

"He's a credit to his family. Whatever they decide to do, I wish them all the best. Hopefully it's still here -- I'd like him to stay.

"There's always a place for Lucas Leiva at Liverpool Football Club, whether he stays or goes."

Gerrard returned to Liverpool in an academy coaching role in February and will manage the club's under-18s from next season.

He said he believed there was no better example for youngsters to follow than Lucas, who joined Liverpool from Gremio in 2007.

"Sitting here at the academy, the biggest compliment I can give to Lucas is I turned up here and realised there's a lot of talented players here with the ball," he said.

"A big part of my job now moving forward is can I turn them into Lucas without the ball?

"I think if we can get a lot of Lucas Leiva into these kids then the academy will produce more players who are ready for the physical demands of first-team football because he's blessed with it.

"He's blessed with talent not just with the ball, but without the ball as well."