Reports: Manchester City set to poach €40m-rated Liverpool star next summer
What's the story?
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can's exit from the club seems all the more inevitable, after Manchester City entered the race to sign the German, according to a report in Italian news outlet, Calciomercato. Pep Guardiola is reportedly a huge fan of Can and hopes to bring his versatility to Manchester City's dangerously threadbare midfield, to offset any injury issues.
The 23-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and can begin to talk to clubs in January. City face plenty of competition for the midfielder's signature, with Juventus and Manchester United interested, but hope that a massive salary offer coupled with a signing bonus will be enough to secure Can's services.
Also Read: Top 5 replacements for Emre Can at Liverpool
In case you didn't know...
Can spent his youth career in Frankfurt, playing for SV Blau-Gelb Frankfurt and Eintracht Frankfurt. At the age of 15, he joined Bayern Munich's academy, going on to make his first-team debut three years later, although only making 4 appearances for the Bavarians in the 2012/13 season. The midfielder moved on to Bayer Leverkusen next year, where his impressive performances led to Liverpool triggering his €12 million release clause in 2014. Can has made 143 appearances for the Reds in 4 seasons at the club, scoring 11 goals.
The heart of the matter
Despite Can's versatile nature that has come in to bail Liverpool out during their frequent injury crises, Jurgen Klopp's seems ambivalent about letting the midfielder leave for free. He said, "It's part of football. If it happens, we can't change it. If there is a player out there whose contract is ending then we should try to do the same. It's a big opportunity. I cannot say it is a big problem, put pressure on the player and the club."
"We have to accept even an ending contract. There are two sides who could have done different. One is the club, the other is the player. It is a normal situation."
Juventus were in pole position to sign the German a week ago, offering him a €4.5 million annual salary (approx €85,000-a-week). However, Manchester City are more than willing to double that salary and blow Juve's offer out of the water. Can's composed passing, coupled with his familiarity with Ilkay Gundogan in the German national team ought to fit perfectly into Pep Guardiola's system, where he can also provide backup at centre-back, given City's lack of options in that position too.
Signing Emre Can for free next season may be a masterstroke - the German midfielder is only 23 years old and is yet to approach his peak. His versatility could prove vital in a long and arduous Premier League season, and Liverpool will certainly miss him for sure.