After selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool could soon lose another member of their midfield in the form of Emre Can. The German international’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and there is certainly interest in his services, with Sky Sports – via Sky in Italy – recently reporting that he’d reached an agreement in principle to join Juventus on a free transfer in the summer.
The Liverpool Echo claim the powerful midfielder is yet to make a final decision on his future, however, hinting there’s still time to convince Can to stay on at Anfield. So, how should the Reds handle the situation? Football FanCast take a look at three suggested solutions…
Naby Keita is due to join Liverpool in the summer but the big-money Coutinho sale has lead to rumours of him arriving on Merseyside six months early at extra cost on the Reds’ part. While Jurgen Klopp’s side could probably hold out until the summer without bringing in the Red Bull Leipzig star to help fill Coutinho’s void, selling Can now would mean Liverpool receive a transfer fee for the German but also leave an even bigger gap in the squad – one that Keita is naturally equipped to fill as a fellow box-to-box midfielder.
The Reds would still have to pay £17million, however, which is likely less than they’d receive for Can, essentially to acquire the services of a player they’ve already signed once.
Liverpool have kept it incredibly tight in terms of wages under FSG, but that’s exactly why exciting talents like Can are looking elsewhere rather than aiming to continue their development at Anfield. And let’s not forget what a promising prospect Can is.
He’s an incredibly versatile and athletic player who is always brave on the ball, and has already won a BBC Goal of the Season award and established himself as a regular Germany international at the age of just 23.
Although some may argue Can isn’t the finished article, he’s not far off either and it’s incredibly telling that Juventus, one of the biggest clubs in Europe, are desperate to sign him – while Bayern Munich and Manchester City are said to have been interested as well.
If Liverpool offer Can a contract worthy of that status, he’ll surely elect to stay on at Anfield where he’ll have the freedom to further develop his game rather than seek pastures new.
While letting Can leave this month rather than the summer may make financial sense for Liverpool, the actual influx from selling will likely be marginal – probably a fee somewhere between £5million and £10million.
For the sake of continuity, Liverpool might well be better off keeping Can until the end of the season, even if they know he will move on, to avoid further disruptions to the squad after parting with Coutinho and give themselves a full half-season to run the rule over potential Can replacements.
After all, money isn’t everything and if Liverpool can’t replace the German this month, there will be a big gap left in the squad for the business end of the campaign. A few injuries in midfield and that could cost them dearly.
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