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Through no fault of his own, Emre Can’s Juventus career appears to be on its last legs.
The Serie A giants were open to selling the Germany international in the final weeks of the summer transfer window as they looked to raise funds having failed to find buyers for Blaise Matuidi or Sami Khedira.
The 25-year-old ended up staying at the Allianz Stadium but he’s been left out of the club's Champions League squad. Players often miss out with spaces limited, but it’s rare to see a someone of Can's quality excluded.
Speaking to German publication Bild, Can spoke about how the news was broken to him: “The conversation lasted barely a minute and I have not had any explanation. It's made me very angry.”
He’s since taken to social media to say he’ll continue fighting for the club on the pitch and that he won’t speak out about how disappointed he is again.
The former Liverpool man can put on a brave face but tensions will no doubt be strained. With a host of midfielders ahead of him in the pecking order at Juventus, his game time well might be capped for the foreseeable future.
Can has shown himself to be ambitious. A place on the bench in Turin isn’t going to be good enough and if he’s unable to force his way into Maurizio Sarri’s plans he might opt to move in January.
Here, we take a look at three possible destinations for the one-time Bayer Leverkusen midfielder if he does decide to look for pastures new.
The Reds aren't in dire need of midfield reinforcements.
Jürgen Klopp has Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana at his disposal there, while Herbie Kane could well get an opportunity.
However, the wealth of options Liverpool seemingly have to pick from could, in fact, be something of false currency.
Keïta and Lallana struggle with injuries and Oxlade-Chamberlain is still getting up to speed after missing close to a year of action. You then have to factor in Milner being back-up to Andrew Robertson and Klopp's options become a little stretched.
Can wouldn't return to Anfield as a starter but he could be part of that midfield discussion, and would give Liverpool options.
His versatlity, too, could come in handy. Able to fill in at centre-back, his arrival could mean the Reds can sell Dejan Lovren in January. The German is one of the few who wouldn't need time to adapt to Klopp's demands with him knowing full well what is expected.
The Red Devils had a strange transfer window. They spent over £130million reinforcing their defence but departures have seen them weakened, on paper at least, in midfield and attack.
While it's still too early to say whether this gamble was worthwhile, it'd be a safe bet that United enter the market in January.
Can might be a divisive player but he's a step up from Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay. He's got more of a presence than Fred and could make far more of an impact than the Brazilian. He knows the Premier League and its physical demands.
The 25-year-old also knows how to play in the system Ole Gunnar Solskjær is looking to implement having been part of the counter-attacking, high-press Liverpool side.
If United need a short-term fix in January, Can could be their man.
The Gunners have three of the best attackers in the English top-flight. The problem is Unai Emery is still yet figuring out a midfield dynamic to enable him to get the best out of them.
Granit Xhaka continues to be reckless in the middle third. Lucas Torreira reportedly wanted to leave in the summer and could well make noises in January. Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock have done well this season but the latter appears much more comfortable in the attacking third.
Arsenal need a solid base and alongside Guendouzi, Can could offer that. He offers the same physical presence as Xhaka but he's not as reckless as the skipper.
Given the Gunners are looking to play in a similar way to the Liverpool of yesteryear, signing someone who knows that style and system would be beneficial.