CITY Can Can fit the bill for City in January?
CITY have been linked with a move for Emre Can as the midfielder’s contract stand-off with Liverpool continues.
The 23-year-old is approaching the final six months of his Anfield deal and a release clause (or lack thereof) appears to be a sticking point for a potential new deal.
Pep Guardiola has come across the player before at Bayern Munich – the former Barcelona boss had just arrived at the Allianz in 2013 when he decided he couldn’t offer Can the minutes he wanted and Bayer Leverkusen promptly bought him.
Having had success integrating players from Premier League sides in recent transfer windows, it is not hard to see the appeal of securing a player from one of their rivals.
Would it be worth it though in the grand scheme of City’s transfer strategy? Here are a few things to consider ahead of the winter transfer window opening.
DOES HE FIT INTO THE SQUAD?
Can appears to fit the profile of what Guardiola is trying to build at City perfectly. At 23, he has his best years ahead of him. Despite being a midfielder, he can be called on to be used in defence when required. With release clauses a necessity at Bayer Leverkusen and Liverpool, he clearly believes he can play for a top club. If that ambition is healthy, would he be happy to wait for his chance if, say, Fernandinho was still first choice next season or he was behind others in a pecking order?
Having already left one Guardiola team because of the lack of first team football, Can will be looking for assurances from the Etihad.
FREE MONEY VS PRIORITY POSITIONS
Getting a player at the end of his contract would be a steal and crucially leave money open for other positions.
Guardiola was clear last summer that it would not be possible to revitalise every position at once, hence why he was out looking for bargains like Dani Alves.
A free transfer can end up looking priceless if it revamps City’s midfield, but if it is to be a priority is he the man to play every week?
Monaco believe there was strong interest from the Blues in Fabinho last season, who has already had his head turned once by a move.
DO CITY GO FOR A BARGAIN OPTION IN MIDFIELD OR DECIDE IT IS WORTH GOING ALL OUT?
City will have six months of uncertainty even if they think they have convinced Can to join.
The German can speak to foreign clubs from January – with Juventus and Dortmund among the clubs reported to be interested – and can also renew with Liverpool before his current deal runs out. A lot can happen between the transfer windows and how much football Can will play at City will likely depend on the future fortunes of Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, Aleix Garcia and Douglas Luiz.
That is a lot of unknown territory, and if City want Can they will not have to be convinced enough by him but will have to make him believe that he will be their preferred choice.
Emre Can in action for Germany against England