When dealing with any kind of upper management at a job, the smartest thing you can do is to get it, whatever “it” is, in writing. That’s the hard lesson that Juventus midfielder Emre Can learned this week: The Germany international claimed that he was promised a spot in his club’s Champions League roster as recently as last week, only for Juventus brass to leave him out of the 22-man roster.
The Champions League is the single most prestigious club competition in the world, and Juventus has to be considered one of the top four or five contenders for the trophy. Playing at the high levels of the Champions League is what attracts the best players to the biggest clubs. It’s why Tottenham Hotspur can lure in Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso while Manchester United can’t bring in anyone other than ol’ Slabhead.
So, it would make sense that Can would decide to stay in Juventus if he were promised a spot in the Champions League roster. Conversely, if Juventus management—and it’s not clear who that was in this instance, though Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio stated that manager Maurizio Sarri was the one who delivered the news of Can’s exclusion—felt like Can was surplus to requirements for the toughest competition of the year, they could have sold him on to a club that could use him. Like, say, Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG was, in Can’s own words, interested enough in his services to already have a deal in place for the German. It makes sense, too: while PSG bolstered its attack and solved its goalie dilemma, its midfield could still use a bit more depth, particularly with new signee Ander Herrera out with an injury. Can would likely be no worse than the 5th midfielder for a full-strength PSG side, which is more than enough to get him locked in for the Champions League campaign.
But Can decided to trust Juventus, and it bit him in the ass. He’s rightfully pissed off about this:
“The fact that I am not in the Champions League squad is extremely shocking for me, mainly because I was promised something different last week. There were talks with other clubs [before the transfer window closed] and one of the conditions for me to stay was to be part of the Champions League squad.”
“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.”
Now, he’s stuck at the Italian club with no Champions League soccer at least until January, when he could be sold to another Champions League club that advances to the knockout rounds. He could also stay at Juventus in hopes of getting onto their knockout round rosters, which are locked in on February 3. Given his angry comments this week, that outcome seems less likely, though it looks like Can is already trying to back down from his anger a bit: