Liverpool fans had come to accept that they would be losing influential midfielder Emre Can on a free transfer this summer after months of ongoing contract negotiations looked to have fallen apart, but now reports indicate that he is keen to reopen negotiations with the Reds.
The claim comes from journalist Mootaz Chehade of Lebanese newspaper Al Mustaqbal, though given the lack of a direct link there could be questions about the accuracy of his suggestion that the German international has so radically changed his mind.
If the story is true, then it could pose a major conundrum for Liverpool. Can is currently sidelined by a back injury but has been adequately replaced, with James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forming a formidable midfield trio.
Georgino Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana have shown their potential as back-ups and Can’s place as the only respected holding midfielder has been put into doubt by Wijnaldum, Milner and Henderson’s displays in the role.
Add in the fact that Naby Keita will arrive in the summer, and Liverpool will feel that they are in a strong negotiating position if Can is to maintain high demands to remain at Anfield.
That said, Jurgen Klopp and company would be foolish to allow the number 23 to depart. Having attracted attention from across Europe, Can has huge potential and his versatility only adds to his value, making it clear that losing him on a free transfer would be a disaster for the club.
Can remains the strongest holding midfielder at the club and should be retained for that reason alone, regardless of fan’s views that he could be replaced.
Add on top of that the fact that he will only improve with further experience, as he has already shown by coming on leaps and bounds since joining the club in 2014, and there can be no doubt that securing Emre Can’s future would be a huge success for Liverpool.