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Emre Can’s undetermined contract saga has added more anxiety to Liverpool’s ongoing conundrum and the German midfielder has reportedly rejected several contract offers after failing to agree to terms with the Merseysiders. Can will be a free agent next summer and Juventus, the reigning Serie A Champions, have repeatedly expressed their desire to strike a deal for the former Bayern Munich academy prodigy and might open talks in winter when he will be eligible to sign a pre-contract.
“We have already said several times we intend to start formal negotiations with the Germany international in January.”
The club’s general manager, Beppe Marotta, revealed this in an interview during summer transfer window.
Can joined the Reds back in 2014 and despite initial stumbles, he has finally settled in under Jurgen Klopp who managed to extract the best out of him last season. He has transformed into an essential resource of Klopp’s system and losing him for free will be a massive disappointment for the Reds.
Primarily, it was thought that the wage demands were acting as a stumbling block in Can’s agreement. Later it was found that the reason was a release clause that the player’s entourage demanded to be inserted in his deal which the club, understandably, did not agree to meet. Things have not been sorted out since then and the player might depart on a Bosman transfer next summer.
Can’s egress will be a massive dismay for Liverpool as he is only 23 and already shown qualities to become the next big thing in European football. The German international has been an integral part of their FIFA Confederation Cup-winning side and is tipped to make it to their next year’s World Cup squad as well.
But, is Emre Can really good enough to feature regularly for the Old Lady? Massimiliano Allegri, the Juventus boss, already has a host of top stars in their midfield. They brought in veteran Blaise Matuidi from Paris St. Germain this summer whereas the likes of Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Stefano Sturaro are already there to offer enough quality in the middle of the park.
Juventus have tied down highly-rated youngster Rodrigo Bentancur from Boca Juniors until 2022 and teenager Fabrizio Caligara is progressing through the academy ranks of the great Italian outfit.
Premier League is arguably far more competitive than Serie A and Can will eventually do well if the deal takes place. But he won’t be preferred over Marchisio, Pjanic, Matuidi or Khedira as of now and will have to wait for his chances. Can is a regular at Liverpool and has made steady progress in their midfield. Joining Juventus will hand him more probabilistic opportunity to win silverware but it will come at the expense of game-time.
The likes of Matuidi, Marchisio, and Khedira are in their 30s and Can might be a long-term solution to their departure. However, he will have to accept a fringe role in the squad for at least a couple of seasons and then compete with Sturaro and Bentancur for a regular slot.
Marotta, in contradiction to his earlier quotes, has ruled out a move for Emre Can in January. He said in an interview with Premium Sport:
“Our team is absolutely competitive and we have some very interesting midfielders like Bentancur who has already shown his qualities. We have faith in this team and in these lads. As for Emre Can I don’t think Liverpool will sell him in January. We made an offer for him in the summer but the Reds didn’t sell him so I don’t think they’ll change their mind in the middle of the season.”
But the German international might ply his trade to Turin in July, as Liverpool would prefer to let him leave for free rather than allowing him to depart during the course of a critical campaign. They have acquired RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita who will join them next summer and Klopp might be sighting the Guinean as Can’s replacement.