Anfield Edition understands that Emre Can’s entourage are close to agreeing a deal with Juventus that will see the German international join the Italian side in June on a free transfer.
This news will come as a blow to Liverpool, with the Reds having been hopeful of tying the 23-year-old down to a contract that would have seen him commit his long-term future to Anfield. However, recent reports have cited that a failure to include a release clause and no guarantee of a starting role have made Can unwilling to sign and he instead prefers a move to the Serie A champions.
Capable of scoring incredible goals, evidenced by his goal of the season at Watford back in May and possessing the ability to pick out a killer pass, Klopp will surely be devastated to be losing the German international, and when considering Can could command a fee upwards of £30m, it’s even worse to lose him for nothing.
Although Can’s season has been marred by inconsistency, with his contract situation likely be a factor behind this, there is no denying that the German has the potential to be amongst the best midfielders in Europe. As a strong tackler and presser of the ball, he would have been ideal to partner Naby Keita in midfield next season, as Can would have offered some defensive stability to compliment Keita’s dribbling and attacking qualities.
However, with Can’s exit to Juventus seemingly inevitable, there has been much speculation about who will replace him next season, with the most talked about player being Schalke’s Leon Goretzka. Just like Can, Goretzka’s contract with Schalke expires at the end of the campaign and having risen to prominence at the Confederations Cup with Germany last summer, he has a long number of suitors. Goretzka would be a perfect replacement for Can and has all the attributes that would see him succeed in Klopp’s system but recent reports seem to suggest that move to Bayern Munich currently seems his most likely destination.
Anfield Edition also understands that Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been closely considered as a replacement and the Serbian would provide a sense of steel and physicality to midfield that has arguably been missing for years. However, with Lazio reportedly wanting around £90m for a deal to be completed for the 22-year-old, a deal currently seems unlikely.
There is no arguing the fact that Can’s probable departure will be a massive loss for the club but with Klopp in the process of building a team that can really challenge, there is no doubt that he already has a replacement in mind.