Liverpool closing in on deal for German midfielder Emre Can
Club hope to sign Bayer midfielder as Real Madrid step up interest in Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez: On the cover of a recent issue of Marca, as Real Madrid develop their interest in the Uruguay and Liverpool striker. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The Uruguay international has long been linked with a move to the Bernabéu stadium and adorned the front cover of Marca, the Spanish newspaper with close links to the European champions, accompanying a report claiming coach Carlo Ancelotti has given the green light to a move for the striker.
Marca said Ancelotti has given his backing to the president Florentino Pérez’s main transfer target following assurances France striker Karim Benzema will not be sold.
Marca’s claims will not unduly concern Liverpool, who have not had any contact from Real Madrid or indication from Suárez’s representatives he wishes to leave Anfield.
The PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year attempted to side-step questions about a move to Madrid during a recent publicity event in Barcelona but Anfield officials are aware of Real’s transfer tactics, often involving Marca, and braced for another summer transfer saga surrounding the 27-year-old.
Liverpool showed their resolve to keep Suárez when he agitated for a €50m transfer to Arsenal last summer and have since secured him on a €250,000-a-week contract until 2018. The club have refused to say whether Suárez’s latest deal contains a release clause for a European club. He would be valued in the Gareth Bale, €100 million price-bracket after the 31 league goals that underpinned Liverpool’s title challenge and Champions League qualification.
The Anfield club, meanwhile, are continuing to pursue early signings this summer and are in advanced talks over the transfer of the Germany Under-21 international Can. Liverpool agreed to meet the €12 million release clause in the 20-year-old’s contract at Bayer Leverkusen over a week ago.
Despite Bayer’s desire to keep the midfielder and his former club Bayern Munich’s buy-back option, which they have indicated could be activated next summer, Liverpool have made progress on an agreement with Can.
The central midfielder would be Brendan Rodgers’ second summer signing following Monday’s capture of striker Rickie Lambert.