English Premier League giants Manchester United are interested in the Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch as they seek midfield reinforcement before Friday’s transfer deadline.
When Erik ten Hag joined Manchester United last year, Ryan Gravenberch commented, “I’m glad I had him as a trainer.”
The Dutch midfielder was also on the brink of starting a new chapter in his life, moving to Germany to play for Bayern Munich. Initially, there were whispers that he might also be heading to Old Trafford.
Antony and Lisandro Martinez went there, but Gravenberch had already committed elsewhere. He stated, “I already had such a good feeling at Bayern and I had given my word.”
The 21-year-old has not made the kind of impression in Bavaria that he had hoped for. Since his transfer over a year ago, he has only made three Bundesliga starts. Even the managerial shift from Thomas Tuchel to Julian Nagelsmann proved ineffective.
This prompted him to provide a very honest review of his first year this summer: “I expected to play more minutes than I did. I thought I would get more chances.
“It’s about just wanting to play; that’s the most important thing at my age. I hope this can happen at Bayern Munich; otherwise, we’ll just have to look elsewhere.
“I told everyone that I don’t want another year like that. Of course, you can’t always be in the starting XI, but you can still play regularly and get a lot of minutes.”
This could have caught the interest of United and Ten Hag, who nurtured him to senior football at Ajax. He had encouraged Gravenberch to be patient and dependable in the youth program at the Dutch club with the hope that he would eventually be promoted to the first squad.
He was swiftly promoted and quickly established himself as a regular, becoming the latest academy product to do so. Ten Hag is once again in search of a pivot, this time at Old Trafford, to help Manchester United contend for the league title and increase fan participation on football betting sites.
Mason Mount, a summer signing, and emerging sensation Kobbie Mainoo are both sidelined, leaving United with few options in the middle. Signing a partner or backup for Casemiro would be ideal.
Despite months of speculation, Sofyan Amrabat is unlikely to be pursued by United if he departs from Fiorentina. This summer, defensive midfielders are in high demand, with prices for players like Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice exceeding £100 million.
Although Gravenberch would be much more affordable, United might not be able to afford the necessary fee, which means a loan could be necessary—especially this late in the window. Considering Ten Hag loaned Marcel Sabitzer to his former team in January, it’s evident that he still maintains strong relations with them.
Gravenberch would need to decide whether he wants to spend a season in the Premier League playing for his former manager, a manager who gave him his first opportunity in professional football. His praise for United was much stronger than his previously indicated assessment of Ten Hag.
The youngster acknowledged United’s interest after joining Bayern and told De Telegraaf: “Manchester United is a very big and beautiful club.”
By that time, he had already committed his future to Bayern, but after a challenging year, he now has the option to start anew at United, a team he admires.