Emre Can is stuck in a complicated situation. The strangest part is none of it is his fault at all. The German finds himself frozen out at the Allianz Stadium at a time when he should be playing regular football. As much as it is unfair, that’s just modern-day football.

The idea behind Can being out of the Juve squads is that the club wants monetary revenue. They were desperate to sell some of their players in the summer, but the failure to do meant that Can and Mario Mandzukic were pretty much exterminated.

This season, Can has made seven Serie A appearances, playing only 272 minutes of first-team football. He isn’t part of the club’s UEFA Champions League squad either.

After not being part of the Champions League squad, Can said (via the Guardian):

“On Tuesday they phoned me and told me, in a conversation that didn’t even last a minute, that I was not on the list and they didn’t give an explanation. That does make me angry and furious because I think that I played well last season, above all in the Champions League. I really can’t understand this and will now see what I decide to do from here and I will seek talks with the club next week.”

He came to the club on a free transfer from Liverpool in the summer of 2018. Last season, the former Bayern Munich man was an important part of Max Allegri’s side. He had four goals and one assist to his name, playing 37 games in all competitions.

This past summer, Juve brought in two new free agents in Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot. And Can was being offered around to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the summer as the club was in search of money to sign Mauro Icardi. All attempts failed and Can’s career is in jeopardy.

The links with Barcelona haven’t gone away since. Links with Manchester United came up some weeks ago, but Barca seem hot on the German’s trails. And the continuous interest from the Catalans could mean something concrete from their end.

But unless something happens, Can’s move to Catalunia will not make sense. As things stand, the club has multiple midfield options. Frenkie de Jong came in the summer. Arthur is kicking on, while Sergi Roberto is also used in midfield. Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are still there too.

In Barca’s 4-3-3 shape, it is Busquets who usually plays as the anchorman. If not for him, one of Rakitic or De Jong do that. There is enough depth in there, considering Carles Alena can also be an option- if nothing else.

But things can change in the summer. They can change in the winter as well. Rakitic’s contract at the Nou Camp runs out in the summer of 2020. He has drawn links with Inter. The same goes for Vidal, whose contract runs out in the summer of 2021.

There is uncertainty about the futures of both and that is the only thing Can can look forward to. Ernesto Valverde has a certain liking for the way Vidal’s physicality helps Barca control games.

Can isn’t a player like Rakitic. He is more of a box-to-box player who does just about everything. He is like a jack of all trades and a master of none. He can play at right-back and at centre-back. He is a lot like Roberto himself, but more physical and less technical.

But if Vidal and Rakitic do not leave, Barcelona would be a risky move for Can. It could leave his career at a standstill all over again.

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Kaustubh Pandey