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Emre Can Has “60-80%” Chance of Signing Juventus Pre-Contract

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On the one hand, it’s bad news. On the other, it’s about in line with what everyone has been assuming.

Stoke City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The long, slow, seemingly inevitable journey that ends with Emre Can signing a pre-contract agreement with Juventus before joining them on a free continues. It’s been most a year now spent watching it happen; watching the club and player go from trying to agree a new deal to everyone seeming to accept a new deal isn’t possible.

There isn’t much time left in it now, though. In January, Can will be free to sign that pre-contract agreement—with Juventus if he so chooses, or anyone else for that matter—and the future will become certain again. Even if it really is almost certain now, at least according to one member of the German national team coaching staff.

“For sure Emre Can and Goretzka could be successful in Serie A,” national team coach and public relations liaison Oliver Bierhoff said in an interview with Tuttosport when asked about Can and Leon Goretzka, the two German stars who are thought to be considering signing pre-contract agreements with Juventus in January.

“Can is a number 6 and is physical, his way of playing is perfect for Italy. However, unless Inter Milan returns to the top of Italy, if one of these players had to choose Italy, he would only do it for Juventus. For Goretzka there is not much of a chance, perhaps not even 20%, but Emre I think has a lot more, I would say 60-80%.”

Based on everything known from the Liverpool end, at the very least it doesn’t sound an unfair number, and given Bierhoff’s position in the Germany set-up, there’s a chance it’s more than just speculation. As to what’s left after that 60-80%, Bierhoff didn’t say, but there have been rumours Can could return to Germany.

There’s also always a chance he changes his mind and accepts a significant pay increase to remain at Liverpool. With their spending power, it’s likely no other suitor would offer Can as much money as Liverpool would. So far, though, it’s not been money that’s been a problem—it’s the below market value release clause Can wants.

Can wants a release that would be low enough allow him to move easily if he isn’t getting playing time at Liverpool, but for Liverpool giving him that low release clause—something maybe in the £30-40M range—would set a terrible precedent for future negotiations. It’s not something Liverpool can afford to compromise on.

So now we wait to see if Juventus will offer Can enough money to make it worth leaving the Premier League behind. And a 60-80% chance of him making the move there does seem about right. Whatever happens, though, there isn’t much longer to go now.