A year after first being strongly linked with a Juventus move and a month after officially signing for them on a free transfer, midfielder Emre Can was officially unveiled by his new club today, speaking to the press about his decision to join the Serie A side.
In amongst the usual talk of how he wants to win titles and trophies and establish himself as the kind of player Juventus fans will remember long after he retires, Can was also pressed on why he left Liverpool—and if his relationship with Jürgen Klopp played a role.
“I had no problems with Klopp,” the 24-year-old German international, who made 37 appearances for Liverpool last season, insisted. “I had a very good relationship with him. At the end he wished me all the best here, so I never had problems with Klopp.”
By most accounts, Can’s relationship with Klopp really never was the issue—the issue was that Juventus were willing to pay him superstar wages while giving him a low release clause such that he could easily get out if he wasn’t getting enough playing time.
Combining his signing-on bonus and wages, Can will be making more than €250k per week for the first two years of his four-year Juventus contract while also having a €50M release clause. After the two first two years his wages will drop to around €100M.
At that point, then, he will—if he so chooses—be free to push Juventus for an improved deal with a higher base wage or go looking for a new club, and if he does, Juventus’ total outlay for Can would come to around €2M per season after recouping €50M on his sale.
For Can, it’s a massive payday from a big club in a slightly slower-paced league. For Juventus it’s, at least potentially, an affordable two-year rental—though one that could, one imagines, get them into some trouble in future player negotiations.
It’s easy to understand why Can and Juventus were willing to do such a deal. It’s also easy to understand why, from Liverpool’s perspective, it was a deal they couldn’t match and a precedent for future negotiations they were leery of setting.
“I decided to come to Juventus because I think the project here is very big,” Can added. “They have very big aims. I want to be part of the project here. There’s a winning mentality and it’s my mentality. I’m here to win titles.”