• Manchester United has been linked with a move for Ajax star Ryan Gravenberch since the last transfer window
  • The Red Devils have competition in its reported pursuit of Gravenberch in Barcelona, a report says
  • The midfielder was assessed by one of his former coaches as better than Paul Pogba

Manchester United isn’t the only club courting a midfielder who is said to have the potential to eclipse Paul Pogba, a report says.

The Red Devils reportedly started tailing Ajax star Ryan Gravenberch in October. However, the transfer window closed without Manchester United securing his services.

Earlier this year, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side reportedly revisited Gravenberch’s situation in an effort to find an alternative for Pogba. But this time around, Manchester United found new competition in La Liga’s Barcelona, which is also said to be scouting the midfield sensation, Tuttosport reported.

Amid Gravenberch’s transfer link-ups to big-name clubs across Europe’s major leagues, his youth team coach Brian Tevreden shared some insight into his former pupil, who has been likened to Pogba in recent times.

According to Tevreden, he acknowledges the comparisons of the pair but believes Gravenberch is a “better version” in terms of technique.

“Physically, I see Frank [ Rijkaard] in him from back in the day because he’s tall and very strong,” Tevreden exclusively told Goal. “But technically, I would say he’s a better version of [Paul] Pogba in his best days at Juventus, in terms of his technique and his presence on the pitch.”

“He’s very dominant like Pogba was, and that’s what I see in Ryan [Gravenberch],” he continued.

Tevreden further revealed that Gravenberch was already showing potential to be a future football star when he was still a child.

“I knew him when he was seven years old playing for his local club in Amsterdam,” the former Ajax coach recounted. “Even in that age group he was unbelievable. You could see that this boy would be a good football player. At Ajax, I took him to the U15s when he was 12 years old. Not everyone was happy with me promoting, they thought he was not ready. One of the other coaches said he was young in his mind.”

“But for me that was absolutely rubbish, because technically he was really gifted, physically he was strong enough and it was too easy for him in his old age group,” he pointed out. “So I said I want him in the U15s. I made him captain as well and he did fantastic. I remember one the first games he played with me for the U15s he scored a hat-trick in the Super Cup, I couldn’t believe that.”

Despite rumors claiming Pogba could return to Juventus this summer, nothing is concrete yet between Manchester United and the World Cup winner.

Barcelona, on the other hand, might already have its “New Pogba” in Ilaix Moriba. After scoring his first goal this season, Moriba, who has also earned comparisons to Pogba, became one of Ronald Koeman’s newest stars.

Paul Pogba (left) made a big impact as a second half substitute for Manchester United at Tottenham
Paul Pogba made an error in Man Utd's 1-0 loss to Arsenal POOL / Shaun Botterill