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'Piece of my heart stays with Liverpool': Can signs four-year Juventus deal

© AFP/File | Juventus bound Emre Can scored three league goals for Liverpool last season, including one against West Ham at Anfield in February

ROME (AFP) - 

German midfielder Emre Can on Thursday signed for Juventus on a four-year deal but admitted "a piece of my heart will always be with Liverpool".

The 24-year-old spent four years at Liverpool but will be a free agent on July 1 when his contract at the Merseyside club expires.

The player completed his medical with the Italian champions in Turin on Thursday.

"I will always think back with a smile and one piece of my heart will always be in Liverpool," Can said in a video message to Liverpool fans posted on his Instagram.

"It was a big honour for me to play for Liverpool. I hope to see you one day again.

He added: "Today is the first day of a new chapter of my life. I want to say thank you to all the people of Liverpool, to my coaches, to the staff, to the staff behind the staff, the supporters, to everyone."

When Can rejected the offer of a new contract from Liverpool earlier in the year there was speculation that he already planned to move to Juventus.

Liverpool said earlier in June that Can was free to sign with another club.

"Juventus will incur additional costs of 16 million euros ($18.5 million), to be paid over the next two financial years," the Italian club said on their web site, though they did not specify how much of that was salary, how much was a signing bonus, and how much a payment to Can's agent.

The midfielder joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen as a 19-year-old and scored 14 goals in 167 games for the club.

His last appearance for the club was in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in May when he came off the bench in the 83rd minute, just seconds before Gareth Bale scored the final goal in Real's 3-1 win.

Can has played 20 times for Germany but his last appearance in the national squad was as an unused substitute in a friendly against Spain in March. He failed to make the World Cup squad.

Liverpool have already signed Fabinho from Monaco for £43.7m ($62.3 million; 53.7 million euros) to strengthen their midfield.

© 2018 AFP