Real Madrid are reportedly set to go head-to-head with Juventus in pursuit of Emre Can, albeit in January instead of a Bosman move next summer.

According to a report in Daily Mirror, Real Madrid are the latest club to establish an interest in Emre Can, who is in the final year of his contract at Liverpool. The German midfielder, who is in a contract standoff with the Reds, is also being targeted by Juventus, albeit for a free transfer next summer.

Can has been an important member of the first-team squad at Liverpool ever since Jurgen Klopp took charge. And while he has often cut a frustrating figure due to his inconsistencies, the player has been on a constantly upward trajectory at Anfield – one that is especially evident this season.

The 23-year-old has featured in all but three games for Liverpool this season, contributing to his team’s cause with four goals and three assists. In addition to that, Can has shown remarkable versatility to play equally adeptly across different positions, which has made him an even more valuable asset for Klopp.

But, after some definitive improvement this season, his time at Liverpool seems destined to come to an end. Can’s contract is set to run out at the end of the season, and there has been little developments over a new deal for the player, who is refusing to commit his future to the Merseyside club.

The player is instead being linked with a move away from Liverpool, possibly a free transfer next summer, with Juventus reportedly the favourites to sign him. The Bianconeri have been in pursuit of Can for a long time now, having also attempted to sign him in the summer.

After failing to secure his services in time before the end of August, the Bianconeri have continued tailing the Germany international, with Massimiliano Allegri keen on further bolstering his midfield options despite the addition of Blaise Matuidi.

But, Juventus now face competition from Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane in the market for a midfielder. The interest from Los Blancos does come as a bit of a surprise, with the Frenchman having a plethora of options in midfield.

A possible move for Can could be in reaction to Dani Ceballos’ possible departure though, with the young Spaniard being heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, just six months after he joined Real Madrid.

A possible stumbling block for Real Madrid, or Juventus for that matter, in pursuit of Can would be his ineligibility to feature in the Champions League, having already represented Liverpool this season.

Liverpool, too, might be unwilling to let the player leave in January if they fail to sign a replacement, despite an obvious threat of losing Can for free next summer. It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid, or Juventus, make a January move for the player, or wait till next summer to sign him.

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