Manchester United aren’t short of midfielders with Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, but the Mirror say manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is concerned about the form of Fred, McTominay and Matic and wants Ryan Gravenberch to upgrade the engine room.
The 19-year-old joined Ajax from Zeeburgia in 2010 and has gone on to make 74 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals with eight assists. Gravenberch enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2020/21, featuring 47 times across the board and having a hand in 11 goals, so his stock is rising in Europe.
United would have to pay around €75m (£63.5m) for his signature, but Ajax aren’t going to let him go without a fight. The Netherlands international has two more years on his deal and is a key player for Erik ten Hag, so it’s hard to see him leaving without resistance.
Gravenberch has created 13 chances, completed 86% of 506 passes, won 16/21 aerial duels, had 27 successful dribbles, blocked 15 shots/passes/crosses, made seven clearances and averaged a tackle (16) or interception (6) every 36 minutes in 10 Eredivisie games this season, so he’d be a great shield in front of the back four.
United aren’t the only side in for the 19-year-old, however, with Liverpool credited with an interest, so it remains to be seen where he’ll end up – the Reds are looking to replace Georginio Wijnaldum who left for Paris Saint-Germain over the summer.
It remains to be seen if Gravenberch is looking for a way out of the Johan Cruijff ArenA amid interest from the two Premier League clubs, however. The defensive-midfielder is still young and has only one full season under his belt as a senior player, so he can continue developing at Ajax before moving on.
United might need to offload an existing player before bringing one in too as they’re already congested.