Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich believe Emre Can should stay at the BayArena next season, crushing Liverpool's hopes of signing the talented midfielder.
The German clubs' mutual agreement comes after a discussion between Rudi Voller (Leverkusen's sporting director) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern's chairman), as reported by Bild and via Vavel editor Jonny Walsh:
Sportal: Voller has spoken to Rummenigge on the Can situation and he agreed it would be best if he stayed at Leverkusen.— Jonny Walsh (@jonathanwalsh_) May 22, 2014
Can is currently linked with a £10 million move to Liverpool, reported by the Daily Mail. He joined Leverkusen from Bayern last year, but the player's contract includes a buyback clause that could see him head back to the Allianz Arena, per Yahoo Eurosport.
We know there is interest, but have nothing official. It is clear that Emre now has a clause in the contract – a decision is still pending. The business would be lucrative. But that is not the sticking point. We are of the opinion that Emre would still do well one years with us.
Upon Can's transfer to Leverkusen in 2013, Rummenigge suggested Bayern would re-sign the player in a couple of years once he is ready to tackle first-team football with the Bundesliga champions.
"We wanted to allow him to make this step so that he gets sufficient match practice, like for example Toni Kroos did in Leverkusen, Philipp Lahm at VfB Stuttgart or even David Alaba in Hoffenheim," said Rummenigge, reported by the league's official website.
Which club offers Emre Can the best chance to develop?
It certainly would be unprecedented for Bayern to let a homegrown talent leave Germany without welcoming him back into the fray. This is a club that regularly sells young individuals with the view of watching their improvement from afar before reaping the rewards with a quick return. Can has settled into the Leverkusen line-up and is quickly progressing along the road back to Bavaria.
Can made 36 appearances across the Bundesliga and Champions League this season, per WhoScored.com. His versatility has seen the 20-year-old deployed in midfield, just in front of the defence and even across the back four, most regularly at left-back. He has even appeared to the left of the forward line, highlighting a player who tackles hard, passes smartly and is confident across the pitch.
He is an excellent choice for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool project but perhaps remains too far out of reach. Bayern are obviously not willing to let the mature youngster escape their clutches for much longer. Can could slot in next to Steven Gerrard at Anfield, completing a tough midfield trio that would also feature Jordan Henderson.
It's easy to see why Rodgers is reported to be interested. The 20-year-old has enjoyed decent experience throughout his young career—including a Champions League stint—something many of Liverpool's squad will tackle for the first time next year. Can is an established star of today and world-class player of the future.
Such quality indicates why Leverkusen are happy to keep him for a further year before his return to Bayern inevitably takes place.