Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta continued the club’s assault on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can after reaffirming he is the Italian outfit’s priority midfield target once the English Premier League’s transfer window opens in the summer.
Can has just over four months remaining on his current deal with the Merseyside club and showed no signs of inking a new deal to remain with Liverpool beyond the current campaign. The German midfielder will be allowed to leave on a free transfer when his contract expires June 30.
Juventus are leading the chase for the defensive midfielder, who has impressed since joining Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014. The Italian giants made it clear they will do everything they can to sign him in the summer as they see him as a perfect long-term replacement for his compatriot Sami Khedira.
Can, however, is yet to make a decision with regards to his future, opting to concentrate on his ongoing campaign with Liverpool. The Reds are preparing for a Champions League quarter-final clash against rivals Manchester City, while also fighting for a place in the top four, which will guarantee they remain in Europe’s elite club competition next season.
There were reports during the January transfer window, which suggested the Germany international had agreed a pre-contract agreement with Juventus, but the Italian club’s CEO’s comments clearly suggested the German is yet to give them a commitment with respect to a summer move.
Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was recently linked with a move to Juventus with the Gunners midfielder also set to become a free agent in the summer. The England international unlike Can expressed his desire to remain with his current employers, but is unhappy with the terms of the new contract on offer.
The impasse between Wilshere and Arsenal put a number of clubs on alert, but the Juventus chief made it clear they will only look at alternatives when Can confirms his future plans, be it with Liverpool or pastures anew.
“It is well-known that we are concentrating on Emre Can, who will have to give us an answer,” Marotta said, as quoted by ESPN. “He will be the first goal if he shows interest. Otherwise, we will have to move to other targets.”
The Juventus chief executive also addressed manager Massimiliano Allegri’s future at the club. The Italian coach is high on the list of top European clubs looking for a new manager and after being linked with a move to Arsenal last season, it is believed Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain are now also interested in taking him to the French capital to replace Unai Emery.
Marotta, however, made it clear they have no intention of allowing Allegri, who has taken them to three consecutive Serie A titles and the finals of the Champions League on two occasions in the last three years, to leave the club.
“Allegri has a contract with us for many years,” the Juventus chief added. “The relationship with him is excellent, we are still one of the most important clubs in the world and there are no indications [he wants to leave] so it’s not a problem for us.”