Manchester City will reportedly be involved in a transfer tussle with Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign 19-year-old Dutch prodigy Ryan Gravenberch.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Ryan Gravenberch is starting to become a highly sought-after commodity in the transfer market. Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are among the clubs that will be vying for his signature in the summer transfer window.
Ryan Gravenberch has had the eyeballs of European bigwigs on him since he became the youngest player to ever play for Ajax in the Eredivisie at 16 years and 130 days on 23 September 2018. In the last three and a half years, the Dutch prodigy has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as a mainstay in the middle of the park for his club while also breaking into his national side.
The 19-year-old has made 89 appearances for Ajax, chipping in with ten goals and 11 assists in the process. But the Dutch giants are in a spot of bother over Gravenberch’s long-term future, as he has entered the final 18 months of his contract. And the possibility of signing the player on a potential cut-price deal has alerted Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Barcelona’s links with Gravenberch stem from the uncertainties surrounding the future of Frenkie de Jong. While the Dutch international has been a consistent performer for Barcelona, the Catalan giants are reportedly considering selling him in the summer transfer window to balance their books and fund new transfers.
But if de Jong departs, Barcelona will need to bring in a replacement, making Gravenberch a one-stop solution, as he can potentially succeed Sergio Busquets at the base of the midfield unit. As for Real Madrid, the Merengues have been formulating the plan to sign Gravenberch, with the 19-year-old reportedly becoming a priority target for the summer.
Gravenberch could be a part of the succession plan for Luka Modric and Toni Kroos while initially replacing Dani Ceballos in the Real Madrid first-team setup. But Barcelona and Real Madrid will need to fend off competition from Manchester City to sign the Dutch prodigy.
With Fernandinho in the twilight of his storied career, Manchester City will need to bring in a long-term successor. Gravenberch is an ideal target to that end, with his versatility in midfield making him an attractive target for Pep Guardiola.
As the months wind down in the 2021/22 season, more clubs could possibly enter the race to sign the 19-year-old Dutch prodigy if Ajax cannot tie him down to a new long-term contract. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City remain the front-runners in his pursuit for now.