John Barnes admits he doesn’t believe Emre Can is capable of playing for a better club than Liverpool.
The German is now in the final year of his current contract with negotiations over a new deal having seemingly stalled.
Delayed talks come amid speculation linking the midfielder to Juventus, with Reds growing fearful of an agreement being reached between the player and Italian club as soon as January.
Barnes, however, isn’t too concerned over Can’s situation and doesn’t appear to be buying into the praise for the 23-year-old since his drastic rise to form at the beginning of last season.
“It’s up to Emre Can [not signing a new deal],” Barnes told Express Sport.
“It’s all very well saying, ‘Give him what he wants to stay or he’s going to go to Real Madrid, Barcelona.”
“But that’s not going to happen. They don’t want Emre Can.”
“People were saying Emre was not a particularly good player and now all of a sudden he’s Pele!”
“Once upon a time Emre Can was not particularly liked at Liverpool so why now all of a sudden are we saying, ‘Oh we have to keep Emre Can?’”
“We want players to stay who want to stay at Liverpool. Obviously if he decides to leave I don’t think that Emre Can would necessarily find a better club than Liverpool.”
“It’s not as if they will be losing one of the most important players if he decides not to re-sign his contract.”
“Liverpool cannot be held to ransom by a player because they feel they deserve whatever money they want.”
The club will undoubtedly be desperate to reach an agreement, not only in order to keep hold of a key player but also to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer.
Can’s vital role in helping the club secure a top four finish in 2016/2017 saw him put a lacklustre period behind him and emerge as a prominent figure in Klopp’s midfield.
Prior to his rise, many were happy for the club to let him go at the right price. Signing him down to a long-term contract has since, however, grown to be a priority in the eyes of most Liverpool supporters.
It will come down to how much he truly wants to be at Anfield.