For much of the last six months or so, there have been questions about Emre Can’s contract status and whether it means he’s destined to end up leaving Liverpool by next summer at the latest. All along, the most commonly mentioned destination for the 23-year-old German international has been Juventus.
Today, though, Jürgen Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund has emerged as a potential landing spot for Can, with The Times’ Paul Joyce claiming they have been keeping a close eye on his contract situation and believe he would be an ideal signing for next summer, when they will need a holding midfielder.
A German international, heading into his best years, on a free transfer, at a position of need. It would seem to check all the boxes for Dortmund, while for Liverpool, Joyce says there is now a growing resignation amongst Liverpool’s upper management team that Can will depart the club on a free.
While there was still hope of him signing a new deal over the previous summer and into the autumn, that hope has been slowly diminishing, and at this point there is no real hope or expectation for holding on to Can due to an unbridgeable gap between his contract demands and what the club can offer.
The problem isn’t his wages or that he wants a release clause, as Liverpool are willing to pay him more than £100k per week and have given release clauses to other players, but rather that he’s seeking a low release clause that would make it easy to depart the club if he wasn’t getting playing time.
Giving such a clause to him might ensure he remains at Anfield at least for the 2017-18 season, but it would be setting a dangerous precedent to give any player a release clause below market value—especially with the way transfer inflation has impacted prices in recent years and could again.
It all adds up to no new deal for Can, resignation about the situation at the club, and a new home for him come next summer. It could still perhaps be Juventus, but as of today, nobody should be surprised if Can ends up heading back to Germany to join his current manager’s former side.