Liverpool Transfer News: Emre Can Deal Faces Big Obstacle from Bayer Leverkusen

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2014

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 12: Emre Can of Leverkusen in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Bayer Leverkusen at Parc des Princes on March 12, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen will not allow Emre Can to leave their shores without a fight this summer after news emerged that Liverpool have an interest in acquiring the German under-21 international.

Speaking to German newspaper BILD, via Mirror's David Anderson, Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Voller confirmed that the Reds have not yet launched a formal bid. General manager Michael Reschke added that another year at the BayArena would be more beneficial to the starlet's career: "We will do everything we can to keep Emre. Because we are convinced that another year would be right for his sporting development with us."

Since moving to Leverkusen from Bayern Munich last summer, Can has thrived in the first genuine first-team opportunities afforded to him in North Rhine-Westphalia, starting in 24 of his 29 Bundesliga appearances.

As Anderson mentions in his report, there is a buyout clause of £9.8 million in Can's contract, but the deal is complicated by Bayern's first-option clause, granting them first refusal on the budding playmaker.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is challenged by Emre Can of Bayer Leverkusen during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford on September 17, 2013 in Man
Michael Regan/Getty Images

However, German magazine kicker, via ESPN FC's Stefan Uersfeld, claims that Leverkusen are free to sell Can anywhere in Europe.

German football writer Raphael Honigstein reveals another aspect of the negotiations that would appear to run in Liverpool's favour:

Can has excelled this term as part of a talented midfield crop at Leverkusen, and it would be sad to see that progress interrupted should he fail to maintain a similar level of first-team involvement as a result of any summer move.

However, Brendan Rodgers may soon need to add another central midfielder to his roster, with injury-prone Lucas Leiva being linked with a move to Inter, per Sky Sports.

At present, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson stand as the Reds' most commonly used midfield pairing, with Joe Allen utilised when fit.

Can has earned early comparisons to Bastian Schweinsteiger in his style of play, and it's possible that Rodgers envisages the youngster one day stepping in to fill Gerrard's boots as the 33-year-old's involvement begins to wane.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 03: Emre Can arrives for a Germany U21 training session on June 3, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Leverkusen would undoubtedly prefer to sell to Liverpool should their hand be forced, as they could receive a larger transfer sum and would not be handing his talents back to a direct rival.

However, Der FCB's grip on matters such as these can often prove domineering, and Liverpool may face a stern test in obtaining Can should Bayern feel compelled enough to exercise their option on his signature.