sport news Why is Ajax wonderkid Ryan Gravenberch wanted by , Juventus ...

It really doesn't take long these days for European football's elite to line up the latest Ajax wonderkid.

Such is the first-class reputation of De Toekomst, the Dutch club's academy, and its ceaseless conveyor belt of talent, a young player only needs half a season in the red and white before the vultures circle.

Take 18-year-old Ryan Gravenberch. Just 25 games for Ajax's first-team and , Barcelona and Juventus are jostling to be first in the queue to sign him.

Ryan Gravenberch celebrates his eye-catching goal for Ajax against Midtjylland last week

Ryan Gravenberch celebrates his eye-catching goal for Ajax against Midtjylland last week

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The midfielder's 25-yard stunner set Ajax on their way to a 3-1 win at the Johan Cruyff Arena

The midfielder's 25-yard stunner set Ajax on their way to a 3-1 win at the Johan Cruyff Arena

Already, Gravenberch is being hailed as the next Paul Pogba - a comparison he seemingly doesn't want to play down - has turned down the advances of Paris Saint-Germain, and openly speaks about his intention to line up alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

His stunning goal against Midtjylland in the Champions League last week brought him to wider attention and now Gravenberch will play at Anfield when Ajax take on Liverpool on Tuesday night.

There is absolutely every chance Gravenberch will follow the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek in moving on to bigger things abroad in the coming months.

First, the Pogba comparison. It's not difficult to see where this came from. Both stand 6ft 3in tall and both are central midfielders who like to be the driving force for their team, always looking for the forward pass or run to start attacks.

'I hear that continuously,' Gravenberch said of the Pogba comparisons in an interview with NOS in 2018. 'I recognise that, we are the same types.'

The tall figure of Gravenberch in midfield when Ajax played Liverpool back in October

The tall figure of Gravenberch in midfield when Ajax played Liverpool back in October

Gravenberch has drawn comparisons with France and Man United midfielder Paul Pogba

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Gravenberch has drawn comparisons with France and Man United midfielder Paul Pogba

Intriguingly, the teenager then added: 'But my example is Zinedine Zidane.'

In another interview with Voetbal Primeur, he said of his style: 'I am a kind of snake. Long, quite narrow and I slip along everywhere. I can learn a lot from Paul Pogba, he is also a bit of a snake.'

Gravenberch and Pogba share the same agent in Mino Raiola and reports in last month suggested Juventus are trying to take advantage of their good relationship with him to seal a deal for next summer.

Raiola is also De Ligt's agent and helped the defender secure his £67million move to Juventus from Ajax back in July 2019.

It's probably also bad news for United's chances given the spat between Raiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the year.

But if it was up to Gravenberch, it seems he'd pick Barcelona. When Elfvoetbal asked him for his dream club in a 2018 interview, he replied: 'Barca! I love the game they play. I watch all their matches on TV.

Juventus hope their good relationship with Gravenberch's agent, Mino Raiola, will enable them to jump the queue and sign him next summer, according to reports

Juventus hope their good relationship with Gravenberch's agent, Mino Raiola, will enable them to jump the queue and sign him next summer, according to reports 

It looks certain that Gravenberch (left) will be the next Ajax academy product to move abroad

It looks certain that Gravenberch (left) will be the next Ajax academy product to move abroad

'I would like to be

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