Barcelona are reportedly set to battle Arsenal, Chelsea and others in the race to sign 19-year-old Dutch prodigy Ryan Gravenberch.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Barcelona are not alone in pursuit of Ryan Gravenberch, who is starting to become one of the most sought-after players in the transfer market. The 19-year-old Dutch prodigy is also being courted by Arsenal and Chelsea, among others.
Ryan Gravenberch has made some giant strides since making his first-team debut for Ajax aged just 16. And over the last three years, he has gone some way in establishing himself as a key figure for the Eredivisie heavyweights while also becoming a regular feature for the Dutch national side.
The 19-year-old has been an ever-present figure for Ajax early in the 2021/22 season, starting each of their 10 games so far while chipping in with a goal and an assist. His progress in the last few years has not gone unnoticed, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe hot on his trails. As things stand, Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal are the clubs tailing him.
The interest from Barcelona is understandable considering Joan Laporta is keen on creating a young core group of players who can be long-term solutions in their respective positions. With that in mind, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez have already been promoted in the early stages of the season.
So after choosing to not sign a replacement for Ilaix Moriba and Ryan Gravenberch, it would behoove Barcelona to sign someone like Gravenberch to ease the pressure off Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong. As for Chelsea, they could enter the transfer market for a midfielder again next summer if they choose not to sign Saul Niguez permanently.
In addition, with N’Golo Kante suddenly facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge and struggling with fitness issues, Chelsea could be forced to sign a midfielder, making Gravenberch a viable target. Finally, Arsenal are hoping to be on an upward trajectory under Mikel Arteta and will need to make some big signings to get their squad in right shape.
With Mohamed Elneny likely to be offloaded at the earliest possible opportunity, Gravenberch is the ideal candidate to be an upgrade in their midfield unit. Apart from Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea, Juventus and Tottenham are also interested in the Dutch prodigy and it remains to be seen if the 19-year-old secures a big move away from Ajax next summer.