The Emre Can contract saga came into the spotlight once again on Sunday after the talented midfielder put in a star performance against the champions-elect Manchester City. The negotiations between club and player to extend his contract passed this season came to a standstill some months back over the issue of a release clause.
The rumor is that Can’s next destination, if he indeed leaves this summer on a free, will be Serie A where Juventus in particular have shown an interest.
After the Manchester City game, Can opened up about his future, denying that he has signed a pre-contract with any other club and not dismissing the possibility of staying at Liverpool.
“I haven’t signed anything (with Juventus) or anyone,” he clarified. “I am talking with everyone. Of course I am talking with Liverpool. I still have a contract here. It is an amazing club. What can I say? My agent does the rest. I just concentrate on the season, on my performance and the football. I will give everything for this team.”
It seems unlikely that a new contract that is agreeable to both parties will materialize this late in the process, but there’s always the possibility. In the mean time, Can has behaved extremely professionally throughout this whole situation, consistently putting in good performances for the team.
If anything will convince the 24-year-old to stay, however, it would be the team’s performance against Manchester City. The Reds faced down and out-played the previously unbeaten Citizens.
“It was unbelievable,” he said of how the team performed. “Look at how we pressed, I think it was the best game. We played against Manchester City, you don’t have to forget that! We were always on the front foot, everyone pressing and everyone doing a brilliant job. I don’t know how many kilometres we ran...
“If the teams saw us playing like that, they will give us a lot of respect and we will take a lot of confidence.
“We don’t have to pick one player out. Every single player performed and did an amazing job. Teams watching our performance will think ‘oh wow!’ They will see we are a strong side but it’s just one game and we have to keep going. It’s Swansea next.”
While Liverpool conceded two late goals to give the game a nervy finish, the 4-3 scoreline flattered the visitors who were out-classed on the night. This game was a huge win for several reasons: the confidence boost of beating the unbeatable, the mental boost of maintaining their own unbeaten streak, proving to the world that they can win big games without Philippe Coutinho, and picking up all three points in a week when Arsenal and Chelsea both lost points.
Now there’s an eight day break before they travel to Swansea to try and keep the momentum going.