Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta has discussed the Bianconeri’s desire to sign Liverpool midfielder Emre Can and Schalke star Leon Goretzka, who is also attracting interest from Barcelona and Tottenham, and believes any deals will rely on the German duo’s “will” to join the Italian champions.
Can, 23, has been heavily linked with a move to Turin in recent months after talks over a new deal with Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to progress. The former Bayern Munich star has less than 12 months to run on his current contract at Anfield and wanted a release clause to be inserted into any prospective new deal, but the Reds were reluctant to bow to Can’s demands.
Goretzka, like Can, has just 12 months left on his contract with Schalke and is widely expected to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. The 22-year-old is believed to have designs on joining Barcelona, but Germany national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff recently suggested that the midfielder is set to move to the Premier League.
Goretzka is reportedly being monitored by Liverpool and Tottenham, but Barcelona are said to be prepared to pay a fee of €15m (£13.2m) to ensure he arrives at the Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde’s side look to be the frontrunners for Goretzka’s signing, but Juventus have an impressive track record when it comes to snaffling up talented stars on free transfers. Sami Khedira, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo are three recent examples of Juve’s ability to recruit stellar names without exorbitant transfer fees, and Marotta is hoping they will be able to continue their enviable trend with the signings of Goretzka and Can, who Liverpool decided to keep in the summer after rejecting a £22.6m bid from Max Allegri’s side.
“We have no deep problems, but we have to look ahead, knowing that we need to be competitive and seize any opportunities that the market offers us,” chief director Beppe Marotta told Sky Italia, as relayed by Football365.
“It’s not easy, and when you have to sign a player for Juventus it’s not easy to find them. It’s also true that we need to reflect on this squad, in terms of age, but we also realise that we have have great professionals.
“Emre Can and Leon Goretzka are two players with expiring contracts and I don’t hide the fact that we are following them both, like many other teams. The will of the players will be decisive.”
Juventus seem to be the frontrunners to sign Can, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is still hoping his compatriot will commit his future to Anfield. The prospect of Can signing a new contract with the Reds becomes less likely with each passing day, though Juve may face competition from Borussia Dortmund for the midfielder’s services at the end of the season.
Barcelona are the favourites to sign Goretzka, who has apparently spoken with Blaugrana goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter-Stegen about a proposed switch to the Camp Nou. The German is reportedly determined to join Barca, but Tottenham, Juventus and Liverpool may put together lucrative financial packages as they attempt to change the player’s mind.
Goretzka has no shortage of esteemed suitors interested in his services. Getty Images
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