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Emre Can edges towards Liverpool exit as Juventus plot a move

Published on: 10 October 2017

Jamie Redknapp says there's positives for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp is being undermined by his defence.

Emre Can recently left the door wide open for a potential exit from Liverpool when asked about his future.

Can is in the final year of his Liverpool and has not yet committed his future to Anfield. Earlier this week, he admitted it was an "honour" to have received an offer from Juventus in the summer, which Liverpool rejected.

Here's five possible reasons why Can hasn't put pen to paper on a new Liverpool deal.

The goalposts have been moving

Contract negotiations are tricky and fluid for every player, but the past 12 months for Can have seen the grounds for renewal shift considerably, making it a difficult deal to do.

Having entered the last 24 months of his contract, Can's form was poor and he found himself out of the side. Jurgen Klopp suggested the indifferent performances in the first half of the 2016-17 season were down to a lingering calf injury. At that time, there was less of a clamour to secure Can's long-term future.

But fast forward to April-May time, Can became one of Liverpool's most important players in their bid to achieve a top four finish. Throw that into negotiations and the fact Dejan Lovren received a four-year deal worth £100,000-a-week, the goalposts had moved. The player was suddenly in a much stronger position.

Can is certainly not the finished article and Liverpool may have reservations about paying him like one -- Philippe Coutinho is the club's highest-paid player on around £150,000 per week -- but losing him would reflect poorly on Liverpool as they may have nurtured the talent for another team.

Emre Can's contract at Liverpool is up at the end of the season.

Release clause

Reports suggest a reason for the impasse is down to the fact Can's representatives are demanding to insert a release clause. Negotiations for the contract have played out while Liverpool stood firm against Barcelona's efforts to sign Coutinho, who handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move.

One drawback from keeping Coutinho may be that other Liverpool players -- as well as potential ones -- will now look to secure certain exit routes if they ever want to leave Anfield.

He's not a starter in his preferred position

Although he's had spells thriving further up field, Can is most effective from a holding midfield position -- labelled the No. 6 by Klopp. There are no doubts about his tactical awareness or physicality, but Can, at times, can struggle with the speed required in the advanced central-midfield role.

Playing as a deep-lying midfielder is where he looks and feels most comfortable, but Jordan Henderson is the starter in that role, with the Liverpool captain making that position his own during 2016-17. Despite struggling at times this season, Klopp has kept the faith with Henderson as his first-choice anchor.

Can might not fancy his chances of beating the skipper, although participation in the Champions League this season has increased the number of matches and need for rotation. However, the 23-year-old could have his eyes fixed on the starting No. 6 role at another club.

Liverpool's German midfielder has failed to nail down a regular starting place in his preferred position.

The competition for places is increasing every season

Can has been a regular for Liverpool so far this season, making nine appearances in all competitions. But had Adam Lallana been fit from the start, Can's number of opportunities would have been reduced.

He was not part of Klopp's first-choice starting XI last season, with Georginio Wijnaldum and Lallana ahead of him in the pecking order for the advanced central-midfield roles. Coutinho operating in that No. 8 role this term has increased the competition in that area, and the arrival of Naby Keita next summer will do so even further. Can may feel Anfield isn't the place where he can flourish most.

Big clubs are taking a look

With substantial interest from Juventus and Liverpool eager to tie the player down to a new deal, Can's camp will be fully aware the player will play for a top class European club next season either way. Some, though, will make the case there is no guarantee of more game-time at Juventus, with their central-midfield options including Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira and Rodrigo Bentancur.

In January, Can will be free to speak to other clubs with just six months remaining on his contract -- and that gives his representatives a strong footing at the negotiation table. The Merseyside club's back is against the wall, faced with the prospect of losing a Germany international for nothing.

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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