Since joining Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014, Emre Can has racked up nearly 80 appearances for the Reds. The 23-year-old has had his ups and downs—which, should be expected of any young player—but has shown flashes of real promise as a holding midfielder, as best evidenced during the Europa League run at the tail end of last year.
This summer, the German international will only have one year left on his current contract, but the two sides are having difficulty agreeing to a contract extension. According to the Liverpool Echo, Can’s wages are currently at £35,000 per week; the player and his agent are asking for more than double that amount, reportedly around £80,000 per week.
The report does not say just how far apart the two sides are, just that Liverpool appear to be unwilling to break their wage structure for Can, a player whom they still consider to be developing.
The situation represents and interesting challenge for the ownership. They have been more than willing to reward vital cogs in the machinery, as we have seen with the recent pay days awarded to Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho, especially, has been the beneficiary of two contract extensions in as many years.
Can, on the other hand, has had some great performances in Red—his strong display against Arsenal being the latest example—but those performances are too few and far. He is certainly a player that many would like to see continue to develop under Klopp, but not if it is going to be at the expense of bringing in other talent in needed areas of improvement (including his own position).
If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, it seems likely that Can might be on his way out this summer, lest Liverpool be forced to let him leave on a free the summer after next.