Saturday 23 September 2017

Delay in signing new Liverpool deal nothing to do with money, insists Can

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can insists stalled contract negotiations are not about money
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can insists stalled contract negotiations are not about money

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can insists the impasse over signing a new contract is not about money.

Reports suggest the Germany international was looking to double his weekly wage to close to £100,000-a-week and that was the reason negotiations had stalled.

But the 23-year-old, who this summer will be down to the final 12 months of his current contract, stressed money was not the motivating factor.

"I read in newspapers it was about money, but it isn't about money," he said.

"We've had a few good meetings and everything is fine. I just wanted to say it is never about the money. It is about the future, what happens.

"You never know what will happen in football, but I am happy here.

"We will speak in the next few weeks and months and see what happens.

"The meetings are with my agent, but I am very happy at Liverpool. In the future I can play for many years at Liverpool."

Can was Liverpool's match-winner against Burnley on Sunday, with a long-range strike securing a 2-1 victory.

The midfielder has been far from his best this season, but he explained that was more to do with physical issues than contractual ones.

Asked whether the uncertainty over his future had affected his performances, Can added: "No, that was not the reason.

"The last few months the most important thing has been that I am pain-free and we have spoken more about that than the contract.

"I've had calf problems for many years and it has been very difficult for me - 10 minutes into the game I've not been able to feel my feet in a few games - but I didn't like to go to the press and say, 'I am injured'.

"Maybe it was not good that I played and did not have a break. I didn't play well when it was my opportunity to play and it was my mistake.

"I play in a different position now and I don't sprint too much.

"When I play at eight (a more attacking midfield role) I have to go forward and sprint more; when I play at six I don't have to sprint too much.

"I feel good at the moment. I have to come back to the old Emre because when I am fit I know what I am able to do and I am confident enough to know I can play much better than in the past."

Can is set to continue as Liverpool's defensive midfielder at Manchester City next weekend as captain Jordan Henderson has already been ruled out with an on-going foot problem by manager Jurgen Klopp.

The midfielder hopes they can maintain their impressive record against the top-six this season - in their last meeting of the campaign against Champions League-chasing opponents - which has seen them take 19 points from a possible 27, the best in that mini-league.

"It will be a very interesting game. In the past we have played really well against top teams and hopefully we will do it again next week," he said.

Press Association

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