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Jupp Heynckes talks up Emre Can talent amid Bayern Munich link

MUNICH -- Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has praised Emre Can as a "dynamic and powerful" player, but also revealed the Germany international's early weaknesses, amid reports that he is stalling over signing a new contract at Liverpool.

Can, 23, joined the Bayern youth setup in 2009 and made seven first-team appearances under Heynckes before joining Bayer Leverkusen in 2013.

Juventus reportedly lead the race for the midfielder's signature, while Bayern are also said to be interested in taking him back to the Bundesliga.

"There's always certain criteria when you're signing a player," Heynckes said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Borussia Dortmund. "I only had Emre Can for a few months. He is a good, young player who has developed well -- he is dynamic and powerful."

Despite letting the then 19-year-old leave for Leverkusen in 2013, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rumennigge dubbed Can "one of the biggest talents in German football."

The following year Can moved to Liverpool for €12 million, with Bayern not taking up their option to buy back the player from their Bundesliga rivals.

Heynckes -- who is currently expected to leave Bayern at the end of the season -- did say there were issues with Can in training during their first months working together.

"He used the heading pendulum and trained with his instep," he said. "That is the football ABC. Normally you need to be able to master these."

In 2015, Can told Munich daily tz that his former boss Heynckes had "criticised him every day in training because he supported me and always wanted to bring me on."

Heynckes also said it was vital Bayern signed players with both the ability and personality to play for the club.

"In my opinion, if Bayern want to play a dominant role in the Champions League again, we must have suitable players for every position," he said.

"The most important thing for me is that the player's footballing concept meets our extremely high level. Not just his physical attributes and speed. There are many factors that play a role and everyone has different criteria. Not to forget, the player's character is important. He must also be a team player with social skills.

"He doesn't just have to fit on a sporting level. There is 20-24 young people together, they have to get on and respect each other, and their ego has to take a back seat. Therefore, the player's character and behaviour is most important for new signings."

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that Can will eventually sign a new deal at Anfield, but accepts the fact that the midfielder can sign a pre-contract agreement with other European sides in January.

"There's nothing new," Klopp told a news conference on Friday. "I said it a few times -- and it's no problem to repeat it -- it's our job to make this club as exciting as possible. That's how it is.

"It's also allowed to sign a contract in May, even with a player who is still already here. I have no problem with that."

On Can's ability to talk to other clubs at the start of 2018, Klopp added: "That's part of football as well.

"If it happens like this then we cannot change it. If there's a player out there with any contract [ending] in the next summer and he's good -- what Emre obviously is -- then we should try to do the same. That's an opportunity for all of us.

"If a contract ends then there are two sides who could have done [things] differently. One of them is the club and the other side is the player. It's just a normal situation."

ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent, Glenn Price, contributed to this report.