Lucas Leiva has admitted that he was close to leaving Liverpool under Roy Hodgson's tenure at the club.

"I felt as though it was almost the end for me at the club," revealed the Brazilian midfielder.

"I knew they were looking for players. They signed Christian Poulsen at the time, and that was a message for me that I was not really in their plans.

"I was really close to leaving to go to Italy. For some reason I did not go, I stayed. After a few games, I got my place back in the team and I started to play a bit more.

"Then Kenny came in. I really started to play with a lot of confidence, and at the end of the year I was voted Player of the Season by the fans. So that moment was very important."