LIVERPOOL ARE CHASING Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, the Bundesliga club have claimed.
The Anfield outfit led the Premier League in April but slipped up late, allowing Manchester City to claim their second title in three seasons.
Liverpool will take plenty of encouragement from their campaign, though, and manager Brendan Rodgers is busy weighing up transfer targets as he aims to bolster his squad ahead of their return to the UEFA Champions League.
Emre, 20, joined Leverkusen from Bayern Munich for €5.5million last August and impressed at the BayArena, making 39 appearances in all competitions and scoring four goals.
He has a release clause – reported to be €12 million – and Bayern also have a buy-back option, applicable in 2015.
And Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has confirmed that Liverpool were keen on signing Emre, but that coach Roger Schmidt was keen to keep him at BayArena.
“We know of the interest, but nothing official exists,” Voller told Bild. ”It is clear that, now, Emre has a clause in (his) contract. A decision is still pending. The business (of selling Emre) would be profitable. But that is not the sticking point.
“We believe that Emre…would do well (with another year here). Roger Schmidt has already spoken with him.”
Voller added that he had spoken with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge about Emre’s progression, claiming the Bundesliga champions wanted him to stay in Germany.
“Of course (I spoke with) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge about the subject,” he added. ”Bayern also believe that (his) development (for) another season (at) Leverkusen would be right.”