WITH all the major goings on this summer, Emre Can’s contract entering its final year has gone a little bit under the radar — until now.
To some supporters it is inexplicable that Liverpool have allowed a player of 23 years old with bags of potential to run into the final year of his deal, with the very real risk of now losing him on a free next summer.
It was hard not to be of that view until the recent news emerged of Can’s agent pushing for a release clause to be inserted into a new deal. That is where the talks are reported to have hit a snag — one which it is reported both parties have been trying to reach a compromise over for the best part of a year.
In that time the background noise has done little to disrupt Can’s performances. The German international has been in a rich vein of form since the turn of the year, after being in and out the team with injury problems. At times, too, he has played through the pain barrier. Can excelled as Liverpool’s “number six” in the absence of Jordan Henderson and is continuing on an upwards curve alongside the captain in a midfield three this season.
Even his most ardent critics wouldn’t doubt his ability on his day. You only have to look as far as his wonder goal away at Watford in the run in last season to see what he’s capable of. He has shown battling qualities and an ability to dig in as well as technique to help The Reds secure a top-four finish last season, and was again prevalent as Liverpool brushed aside Hoffenheim in the crucial home leg of the Champions League playoff in August.
Jürgen Klopp seems to be a big admirer of his fellow countryman and at such a tender age, he is the sort of player that Liverpool could build their midfield around. That is what Klopp has already been doing with Philippe Coutinho — his free role on the left since the German took the reigns and his subsequent move into a deeper role show that he’s willing to build the side around the Brazilian.
The manager may still be given the opportunity to do so but he will have to overcome the fact that Coutinho pushed for a move to Barcelona this summer while allowing his camp to paint the picture of him being unsettled and make seemingly false claims about his relationship with Klopp in an attempt to change Liverpool’s stance.
Fortunately the club had been smart enough to secure their prize asset in January, tying him down to a new five-year deal with no release clause — obviously aware of the fact that he could be poached in the not so distant future.
Liverpool were keen to shake off their selling club tag and that was admirable where Coutinho is concerned. However, it could now backfire in regards to Can.
Some supporters took to social media in light of the reports of the player’s agent pushing for a release clause and questioned why the club wouldn’t just agree to it in order to secure one of their best young assets for the foreseeable future.
While it’s hard to disagree that losing a 23-year-old capped 16 times by his country on a free would be a disaster, accepting Can’s representatives’ demands would not be putting the club in a position of security. Instead they would be showing that they can be held to ransom by agents and would leave their “not a selling club” tag to be sullied by any club with enough interest and cash to break the clause.
Imagine a scenario where Can signs a bumper deal, which includes a release clause, in the coming weeks or months. Where last summer the transfer record was shattered by Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United, it was completely obliterated by Paris Saint-Germain’s purchase of Neymar this summer. The record jumped from around £80million to upwards of £200m. So could The Reds really ensure they get value for a player who could be worth several times that amount in the next few years?
The obvious counter to all of this is that any amount of money is better than seeing Can leave for nothing at all. It’s a fair point and while that may benefit the club’s ability to operate in the transfer window, it doesn’t make it certain that they will be able to use any money from a sale to replace the German. For example, if Coutinho had a release clause in his contract this summer and Barcelona met it on deadline day in England, they could have had it wrapped up by the time the window closed in Spain, while Liverpool would be left with over £100m burning a hole in their pocket until at least January. More importantly though, they’d be without their star player.
Despite being of the opinion that Can is a big talent who could on to do great things at Liverpool, or another club for that matter, the club shouldn’t be compromising their principles for the sake of one player.
Some will criticise them for letting it get to this stage but negotiations have been ongoing for around a year. If a deal hasn’t been agreed at this stage it can only be because both parties are refusing to back down, which in Liverpool’s case would be the correct thing to do.
The club are finally starting to look like the real deal off the field as well as on it. To insert a release clause into a new deal for Can would be showing they can still be pressured if pushed hard enough, and would leave them open to exploitation in the future.
If preventing that means losing Can on a free next summer then so be it. After all, no player is bigger than the club.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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I don’t see the logic of this article. Lose a very good young midfielder for free because we refuse to negotiate with said midfielder regarding a new contract/buyout clause. So instead of losing the midfielder for a negotiated amount (possibly 65 to 75 mil) we lose him for nothing. Sounds like a very poor business plan, yes we open the pandora’s box of buyout clauses, but LFC may struggle to recruit young talent if they are unwilling to add any type of buyout clause within their player’s contracts.
RC’s are – I’m led to believe – a legal requirement in Spain. I don’t understand the fuss, they’re fairly common on the continent. The club sets what they believe to be the players value or a sum that would be enough to put off suitors. I think this is what they’re haggling over because – no offence – it’s a no brainer to give him one. You’d have to be daft trying to set precedents like not giving players them because you can guarantee Can won’t be the last player who wants one or are you seriously suggesting the club continues to let players run down contracts in an effort to keep a bizarre stance that doesn’t benefit the owners in anyway when they dissappear for free end of season and all the distractions negotiating a new contract with a new club brings? Imagine the tabloid frenzy if it’s a direct rival.
Would it not be possible to insert a transfer clause that only applies if triggered by a certain date? 31st July of any given year for example?
If he want LFC should issue 250 million clause like RMD does; though frankly we have made mistake especially manager JK we should have sold him to Juventus for 20+ he is okay but not as good as he think. He is Country mate and hope he will convince rather going for nothing otherwise he should remain at reserve; we have enough talented player around to void.
I have to disagree. The issue should be the terms of the clause. There is a whole range of possibilities both positive and negative that can occur over the course of a 5 year contract for both club and player. The smart thing for any club is to ensure that it either retains its assets or receives compensation when they lose them. We don’t want to have invested the time and money in Can for another team to reap the benefits of our investment.
The potential solution(s):
Release clause doesn’t apply for a couple of years
Release clause only applies if Liverpool don’t qualify for the champions league
Release clause is equal to a percentage of whatever the world record transfer fee paid for a player.
Hardball is fine when you have nothing to lose. We have lots to lose and doing so for some kind of ‘moral superiority’ is myopic in a game which is in thrall to big money.
Nice one Josh. Surely a release clause that suits us would be acceptable? £80 million wouldn’t upset anyone surely?
And that release clause gets activated after the new PL deadline comes in?
Players running down their contract is fine. It happens. We paid 10m. Had 4 seasons….
Put in £150m in the release clause and have it only available at certain times – i.e. at the start of the transfer windows – to avoid the scenario of a class player leaving as the window shuts.
was thinking the same exact thing
No, it wouldn’t be a “disaster” in any sense of the word. Poor choice of words.
Does no one think that our club’s stance on not including release clauses is eventually going to deter our future targets from wanting to sign for us?
What about a sliding release clause? 40% of the world transfer record, say? 80m now, once Coutinho goes to Barca for 400m, it jumps to 160m.
No release clause for Can or any other player. We have made our position clear during the Coutinho saga to back down on this would put us back to square one.
Lovely article and im old enough to remember the glorious days of old…trust me…it was brilliant
Absolute Tosh. We need to sign with a release clause. Otherwise we will lose him. Simple as that. We should not have waited this long and it is a reminder that we should always renew 2 yrs b4 end or sell 2 yrs b4 end. Binary
Good piece Josh lad. It’s not there fear of losing Can that is the problem, after all, he was here pootling around, in and out of the starting 11, showing variable form when Klopp arrived. The quality we see today has been drawn out by JK and his staff. Allowing this consession then sets a precedent for his colleagues and future new arrivals. Where would that leave JK with regards to the stability of his squad and future planning? In the sh*tter, that’s for sure. JK has a history of developing talent and teams like Bayern, Barca et al know this and would plan to rape us every year in their recruitment drives. We have more to gain by blanking Can on this one and risk losing him to Juve next year. Can will have a choice in 2018, play for the most exciting side in the Prem; or play in a mundane league for a serial defence oriented also ran, (even if they win their league). I’d back Klopp to find a better replacement, given his track record with us and I don’t care if Bayern come in for Can; they won’t be able to come after his replacement though.
Fully agree. You don’t change a club’s policy just because of one player. If even Couts didn’t get one (he must have overread that one though), no-one should have one. It says a lot about the longterm thinking of the player. Klopp doesn’t wanna coach a player to led him go once the player is at his best.
Also even the small Dortmund let Lewandowski leave as a free agent, just because playing him that season was worth it. LFC just don’t need that transfer money. They can afford it.
This is a very tough call. I’m not sure I could bear seeing him stroll out for free next summer. It would smack of amateriusm, regardless of the fact negotiations have been ongoing for a year.
Surely a compromise can be reached. A release clause that reflects the player’s projected worth to us in the coming years.
Surely all we would be doing is increasing Can’s existing release clause of zero. Letting a player go for free because you are worried about losing him for, say, 60m, seems crazy to me.
For me, that’s not being tough, it’s being stupid.
Good piece Josh, and covering so many angles. You’d think the Release Clause would weaken our Clubs position for keeping our other players out of the Shop Window (so may not be worth it and therefore let him go free), but that’s not the view of the current results on the poll I have on twtr.:
Should LFC allow Emre Can a Release Clause?:
No – 30
That’s a resounding – ‘Take something or he’s Free next year, whatever about Club’s policy.’
The reasons in comments surround a lot of the points you raise, so won’t repeat. But there’s another factor I’d like to mention in the guise of Naby Keita. If he was here now and when he’s here next year- where’s Can in the pecking order- as he’s behind a fit Lallana already? To be tied into a non-release contract or an £70-100n Clause that may not be bid, he could be looking as being a Squad playing for 4-5 years from next year on- thus the need to ‘Get out of Jail card’ ?? :)