Liverpool are in a happy space right now, winning two of the opening three games in the Premier League and qualifying for the Champions League group stages. The cherry on the cake was their win against Arsenal just before dispersing for the international break and getting in the Gunners’ upcoming prospect Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the ending stages of the transfer window.
However, it is all too familiar a situation for the Reds at the start of the season. They know they do it extremely well and then things turn bitter with every passing month. And their first hint of it comes in the rumoured interest of rivals Manchester United in their central midfielder Emer Can.
The German international is out of contract next summer and with no sign of him extending a contract, reports claim that title contenders Chelsea and Manchester United will fight for him in the winter. He will be a free agent in a few 12 months’ time and with Liverpool already investing heavily in Naby Keita and Chamberlain, they would want to recoup some of it through his sale.
Can is unlikely to extend his contract and with Italian outlet Tuttosport claiming that Bayern Munich and Juventus are also in his pursuit along with United and Chelsea, Can will definitely want to explore his options in the winter. Liverpool would be hell-bent to prevent him from going to Premier League teams, meaning a move outside is very much possible.
At 23, Can has been one of the brighter talents at Anfield whose attributes go way beyond his age. His composure on and off the ball from the midfield, blended with brilliant passing and the ability to score from distance makes him the lynchpin to Klopp’s uber-attacking tactics.
In the absence of skipper Jordan Henderson for much of last season, Can was one of the prime reasons for the Reds to finish in the top four. He also managed to make a solid impression in national colours during the Confederations Cup, where he helped Germany sealed the trophy by beating Chile in the final.
Manchester United have some brilliant options of their own in the middle of the park and fitting Can will be a real challenge for Jose Mourinho. However, with Marouane Fellaini likely to leave next season and Michael Carrick retiring, Can and Ander Herrera could be immense depth for their squad giving competition to the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic of the first team.