Liverpool and German national team midfielder Emre Can has been consistently linked with an Anfield exit for the majority of the season, with the 24-year-old set to become a free agent once his contract expires in May.
The German international was injured with a back problem during the Anfield’s side 5-0 mauling of Watford back in March and the latest injury assessment conducted on Thursday did not look promising.
Reports in the Mirror suggested that it was possible that Can may not feature again for Liverpool before the season ends on May 13th, with the German out for both Champions League quarter-final clashes with Premier League champions-elect Manchester City.
The latest injury setback means the Reds’ clash with the Hornets could prove to be Can’s final game in a Liverpool shirt, with Italian giants and Serie A leaders Juventus one of the front-runners to claim the German’s services for next season, as reports in the Liverpool Echo infer.
The former Bayern Leverkusen player was forced to withdraw from the Germany squad for last month’s international friendlies against Spain and Brazil and he will be fighting to ensure he recovers in time for the World Cup in Russia.
The speculation surrounding Can’s future has been an unwanted distraction on Merseyside with seemingly few signs of progress from either side of the negotiating table.
At time, it also seems that the potential Anfield exit has impacted Can’s performances on the pitch.
The former Bayern Munich youth prospect has struggled to maintain a consistent level of performance and distractions off the field may leave Reds supporters to believe that it is time for the German midfielder to move on.
Manager Jürgen Klopp may have the accept that his fellow countryman will depart the club at a loss, leaving the club with a hole to fill in the summer when the transfer window re-opens.
Can’s departure could prove a breath of fresh air in the summer, with the club then left looking to find a long-term replacement, in order to cement and ensure complete solidity in a notoriously difficult central defensive midfield position.
Alternatively, he could be yet another important player that Liverpool let slip through their fingers, following the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez, who have all departed in recent years.