In what is thoroughly unsurprising news, FC Bayern Munich announced the sale of holding midfielder Emre Can to Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee. Official reports state that this is a four year contract. Not bad for a 19 year old.
With the addition and integration of Thiago Alcantara in the last few weeks, it was decidedly clear the Can was going to have trouble earning any meaningful amount of first team minutes this season. While the rumor mill circulated linking him with a loan move to Turkish side Galatasaray, it is the Leverkusen based side that has come out the other side with his full purchase.
For the many of us who hoped the promising youngster, who was once called "the crown jewel" of the Bayern youth system, would go on loan and remain with the organization, this represents a disappointment. However, Bayern does retain a buy-back clause that can be exercised in the future and Bayern management seem hopeful that this will give Can the minutes necessary to develop into one of Germany's best before they buy him back. Karl Hanz Rumenigge compared this opportunity to those enjoyed by Toni Kroos and David Alaba.
For those of you who may have forgotten, Bayer Leverkusen finished third in the Bundesliga this past season, and as such have secured automatic Champions League group stage play. There, Can will fight with Lars Bender, Simon Rolfes, and Stefan Reinartz for playing time which is a decidedly better proposition than fighting against Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Thiago.
We wish Emre Can the best. Except when playing against us.
The first opportunity to face Emre Can and Bayer Leverkusen comes on October 5th at the BayArena. Mark your calendars.
UPDATE: Kicker has reported that the transfer fee was €5M and that the earliest Bayern has the right to buy back is after the 2015 season.