herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Juve primed to pounce for Can

Liverpool’s Emre Can. Pic: Reuters
Liverpool’s Emre Can. Pic: Reuters

Juventus have reiterated their desire to sign Emre Can on a free transfer next summer - and have also set their sights on his possible replacement.

The 23-year-old is out of contract at Anfield in June, and is free to talk with overseas clubs from January 1.

With no sign of his contract stand-off ending, Can's Liverpool future is increasingly in doubt - leading to suggestions the Reds could turn to Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

Goretzka, like Can, will become available on a 'Bosman' in the summer - but Juventus' chief director Beppe Marotta claims both German internationals are on the Italians' radar.

"We have no deep problems, but we have to look ahead, knowing that we need to be competitive and seize any opportunities that the market offers us," he said. "It's not easy, and when you have to sign a player for Juventus. It's not easy to find them.

"It's also true that we need to reflect on this squad, in terms of age, but we also realise that we have great professionals.

"Emre Can and Leon Goretzka are two players with expiring contracts and I don't hide the fact that we are following them both, like many other teams. The will of the players will be decisive."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted his concern after Sadio Mane's early release from international duty due to more hamstring trouble.

Mane featured in the Reds' win at West Ham on November 4 after five games out with a hamstring problem and then lined up for Senegal on Friday as they beat South Africa 2-0 to seal a place at next year's World Cup.

The Senegalese federation stated Mane had "slightly felt his old injury" and returned to his club to continue treatment.

"Obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days," said Klopp.

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