Wednesday 24 October 2018

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can losing fight to feature in Champions League final

Emre Can
Emre Can

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is losing his fight to feature in the Champions League final.

Can underwent a scan on his back injury on Monday, but the results were inconclusive and he will have further tests in the hope of a return to training next week.

The 24-year-old is still in Germany undergoing treatment and had hoped to receive the green light to start his comeback to force his way into Jurgen Klopp’s squad for the final against Real Madrid on May 26.

That was not possible. He will not return to Merseyside until next Monday at the earliest. Even if he could resume training then, that would give him only two weeks to prove his match fitness before Liverpool meet Zinedine Zidane's side.

Speaking last Friday, manager Jurgen Klopp had suggested the most recent scan would be decisive.

“Emre will be assessed on Monday to check how it has improved,” Klopp revealed before the trip to Chelsea.

“He has done a lot of things and it feels really good but in the end you always need a doctor to tell you, 'now it's fine, now you can go again’. That's the situation.  I think he will have a scan on Monday and then we will know more.

“It would be good news for the final.”

Unfortunately, that good news did not materialise.

It leaves Klopp with only three fit senior midfielders for the remaining two games – Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum. Should Chelsea defeat Huddersfield tonight, Liverpool must beat Brighton this weekend to secure a top-four finish.

Can, meanwhile, looks to have worn the Liverpool shirt for the last time. His contract runs out this summer and it has long-been anticipated he will join Juventus.

His reticence to commit the next stage of his career to Anfield is surprising given the team’s development and how much faith Klopp has in him, especially as there is uncertainty surrounding the future of Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri - who is high on Arsenal's wanted list.

Contract talks reached an impasse because the player wanted an exit clause in his deal, which Liverpool would not agree. The club has left the door open for more talks until such time Can's decision is final.

Liverpool will have to alter their transfer plans accordingly in the event of Can’s departure, pursuing more midfield reinforcements despite the imminent arrival of Naby Keita.

Online Editors

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