Football Features

Man Utd, Dortmund or PSG? Emre Can tug of war shows latest step in Juventus’ genius model

By J Smith

Man Utd target emre can shows genius of the Juventus transfer model

Published: 17:23, 4 December 2019

Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain are set to enter a three-way tug of war for the signature of Juventus midfielder Emre Can, according to reports.

The Germany international left Liverpool to join the Old Lady on a free transfer in June 2018 but it’s safe to say his time in Turin so far has been anything but a success.

Can had to suffer through various injury and illness problems last season which made him miss 11 games for Juve, and as a result, he was limited to just 20 starts in Serie A and only two in the Champions League.

This season has seen things get even worse, with Can starting just two Serie A games so far and being left out of Maurizio Sarri’s Champions League squad altogether – a decision which left Can furious.

“I am shocked and angry. Last week, the club promised me something else, yesterday the coach called me and told me in less than a minute that I was not in the squad,” he said in September.

“I cannot explain it, I have not been given any reason.

“Me and my advisor talked to other clubs [during the summer]. After talking to Juventus I decided to stay on. For me, one condition was to play in the Champions League.”

Still, despite his lack of playing time, Can’s versatility in being able to operate across the midfield and defence makes him a highly valuable squad member, while at just 25, he has plenty of years ahead of him.

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Of the three clubs linked with his signature, Man Utd, especially, are shockingly short of quality in midfield — the likes of Fred and Andreas Pereira are simply not up the standard required – so much so that they’re reportedly ready to part with a substantial sum of cash to bring a former Liverpool player to Old Trafford.

United are sure to face stiff competition for Can’s signature and being honest, Juventus are likely to be licking their lips at thought of a bidding war, and will be patting themselves on the back for yet another job well done in the transfer market.

Dortmund are also believed to be in the market for Can, according to Sport Bild, while there are whispers from Paris that Thomas Tuchel is also lining up a move.

The Italian champions have become renowned for their frugal approach to signing players, bringing in the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Dani Alves, Andrea Pirlo and Fabio Cannavaro on free transfers over the years – those four names barely scratch the surface.

But what often goes unsaid is their ability to flip a profit when sending talent the other way. The Old Lady signed Paul Pogba from Manchester United on a free transfer in 2012 then sent him back to Old Trafford four years later for an incredible £89m. Centre-back Leonardo Bonucci joined from Bari for just over £13m in July 2010, moved to AC Milan for £35.5m in July 2017 having won six Scudettos, then rejoined Juve for a cut-price £30m a year later.

Even the likes of Arturo Vidal brought great profit, signing in Turin for just under £9m in 2011, winning four league titles and a Coppa Italia and then heading off for Bayern Munich in 2015 for a handsome sum of £31m.

It seems there’s no end to Juve’s genius in the market. One way or another, they find a player, squeeze the best out of him and then move him on for a huge financial gain. If they were to do the same with Can who, unlike the other names mentioned above, has been something of a failure on the pitch, it really will take their already impressive and lauded business expertise to a whole new level.