Lucio to Leave Inter Milan, Defender Prefers to Remain in ‘Big European League’

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Lucio to Leave Inter Milan, Defender Prefers to Remain in 'Big European League'Lucio revealed his intention to leave Inter Milan on Wednesday. The veteran defender has requested a transfer, which the Italian club accepted. He will consider offers from around the world, but he prefers to remain in a major European league, according to Football Italia.

"It's time to make a change, so we put in a transfer request and Inter have agreed," Football Italia reports Lucio's agent Sandro Becker told Lancenet. "He had three excellent years at Inter and feels it's time to make a change."

Lucio, 34, is one the greatest defenders of his generation. He's played more than 10 years at the highest level, winning league championships in Germany (three times) and Italy (once).

The center back made over 100 appearances for Brazil's national team, including playing every minute of every game in his country's triumphant 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign.

Inter Milan is facing a transition to a new era. Many of its highly paid veterans who won so much over the last half decade will be allowed to leave, as the club looks to rebuild around a younger core group. Lucio will be among the first to leave, and he parts ways with the club on good terms.

"Considering the man he is and the player he is, Lucio only leaves friends behind everywhere he goes," Becker said. "The decision to leave came from us, but Inter understood it. This has been entirely amicable.

No front-runners for his signature have emerged at this point. But it's likely that a UEFA Champions League club will consider making a transfer offer for him. He will bring skill, experience, and a winning mentality to his new team.

"He still has two years left on his contract and we know Lucio has a market value, Becker added. "If we find a new club, then we will talk it over and reach an agreement."

"His preference would be to play in a big European League, but you never know. There are also many clubs interested in Brazil and Lucio knows the World Cup will be here in 2014. We don't know what his future holds.”

Lucio's availability could entice any number of clubs to enter the race for his signature. A transfer offer in the region of £ 5 million ($8 million) should meet Inter's asking price.

Photo via Flickr/ Ronnie Macdonald

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