By Kevin Koczwara
Liverpool announced this morning that the club has agreed to a deal in principal with Bayer Leverkusen to sign 20-year-old midfielder Emre Can. The deal has been in the works for weeks, but today the club announced that the player’s release clause had been met and the player is ready to move to Anfield next season, but before officially making him a member of the squad the club needs to wait for the proper documentation to be completed to officially announce the midfielder’s arrival.
The Guardian reports the transfer price is £9.75 million and that the deal will be finished on July 1.
Can joined Leverkusen last year from Bayern Munich. He played 29 times and scored three goals and was a major part of Leverkusen’s fourth place finish in the Bundesliga. He can play as either a box-to-box midfielder, holding midfield, or left back. The 20-year-old’s versatility makes him a solid signing for a team looking for cover in multiple positions while not upsetting a balance in a squad that scored 101 goals and finished second in the Premier League last season.
Leverkusen had hoped to keep the midfielder, but Liverpool activated the player’s release clause.
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Part of what was holding up Can’s deal was Munich’s buyback clause in the contract the midfielder signed with Leverkusen after his transfer last summer. The midfielder decided to move away from Munich to get more playing time and to develop as his path was blocked by established stars like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos. He made just four appearances for Munich despite being highly regarded at the club.
It was believed that Munich wanted to activate the player’s buyback clause next summer. The transfer to Leverkusen was supposed to be essentially a longterm loan so he could get more first team action.
“Emre Can is one of the biggest talents in German football,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Can’s transfer to Leverkusen. “With this step, we want to make sure he gets enough playing practice, for example like Toni Kroos had at Leverkusen, Philipp Lahm at Stuttgart or David Alaba at Hoffenheim.”
The 20-year-old has represented Germany at every international level from U15 to U21. He has yet to make his full international debut for Germany. He was born in Frankfurt, but is of Turkish decent and could possibly play for their national team as well.
Brendan Rodgers has been trying add reinforcements to his thin squad this summer. Can is the manager’s second signing after the arrival of Rickie Lambert over the weekend from Southampton. The club has reportedly put in offers for Southampton captain Adam Lallana and Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno as well.