Emre Can future unclear but hopes of Anfield stay remain
Emre Can’s future continues to be the source of much speculation, but the likelihood of him remaining a Liverpool player beyond this season appears to have increased as Juventus this week admitted they are having difficulty persuading the player to sign a pre-contract agreement with them.
Juve general manager Beppe Marotta told Italian broadcaster Premium Sport “We want to try and bring him to us, but we cannot do it because he currently has a contract with Liverpool. He could renew it and, moreover, there are other teams interested in him”.
This is encouraging from Liverpool’s perspective as for several months most reports coming out of Italy had suggested that Can already had one foot in Turin. A deal had been agreed and would be announced in January, so said most of the Italian press. So far Can has signed no pre-contract agreement and insists that no decision has been taken on his future and that talks are still ongoing with Liverpool.
The sticking point appears to be Liverpool’s unwillingness to allow the German a buy out clause. The club are trying to get away from deals like that having been powerless to prevent Luis Suarez from joining Barcelona when they met the terms of his buy out.
This is something that can make an impact on sports betting. The loss of important players can affect the general playing ability of the squad, which in turn decreases their chances and odds of succeeding in the Premier League. While the fans are chanting and cheering whatever happens, a few football betting sites will not view things so optimistically.
The Reds learned from the loss of Suarez and although Philippe Coutinho this month joined Suarez in Catalonia, the La Liga club had to pay a king’s ransom to get that deal over the line because Liverpool had ensured there was no buy out figure in the contract Coutinho signed a year ago.
Liverpool could easily grant Can’s demand for a buy out clause because he is not likely to ever be as in demand as Suarez or Coutinho, and he will never be as difficult to replace as a star attacking player. That isn’t the point though. By giving Can a release clause, it opens the door for other players to look for a similar arrangement, and with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane both due for talks on a contract extension, that isn’t a road Liverpool want to go down.
So it appears that talks are at an impasse, but while no deal is agreed with Juventus or anybody else, Liverpool still have hope that they can reach some sort of compromise with the 24 year old.
To Can’s credit, he has never let the uncertainty over his future impact on his form. He’s been one of the Reds’ most consistent players over the last 12 months and has even played through illness and injury to do a job for his team.
Klopp has frequently spoken of how the contract issue is not important and that he will continue to selection his young compatriot as long as he shows the right attitude. He even gave him the captain’s armband for Monday night’s loss at Swansea, although not too much stock should be put into that as Coutinho captained the Reds in the weeks before his departure.
Over the busy Christmas period Klopp was able to rest all of his starters at some point, but an injury to Jordan Henderson left Can as Liverpool’s only fit ‘number six’ and he started every game during that hectic spell. So while his future remains in doubt, his commitment does not.
Emre Can is far from irreplaceable, but to do so would cost a fair amount of money. Surely then, it makes sense to find a way to keep him and invest the funds it would take to replace him on strengthening other positions in the squad?
If the only way to get him to sign a new deal is to grant him a release clause, then although that isn’t ideal, surely it’s a better option than allowing a 24 year old player yet to hit his prime to walk away for nothing?