Defiant Ajax set for battle to keep Gravenberch from Roma clutches

Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, a player attracting comparisons to the on-field style of Manchester United ace Paul Pogba, WILL be retained by the club despite the interest of Italian giants AS Roma.

The Sons of the Gods powerbrokers are defiantly set to refuse to allow the teenager sensation to switch to the Serie A outfit this summer — not that it will stop the Italians in their pursuit of the young schemer. They will not be put off by the efforts of the Johan Cruijff ArenA hierarchy to retain the services of the talented grafter.

Ajax are readying themselves for a raid on their squad during the summer. As well as losing the services of Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for a fee in the region of £40million, they are also wary of raids that will take both Donny van de Beek and Nicolas Tagliafico away from the club.

The one aspect of any potential Gravenberch deal that may hold things up and be to the benefit of the Amsterdam giants, currently top of the coronavirus-suspended Eredivisie, is the fact that AS Roma look likely to have to sell two players to fund any £30million swoop.

Those players deemed expendable come in the form of Dutch full-back Rick Karsdorp, who is on loan at Feyenoord, and goal-getter Patrick Schick, who is on loan at Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig. Gravenberch, who is still only 17, burst on to the first team scene this season. Up until the Covid-19 outbreak forced football to be put on ice, he made nine league outings, scoring twice.

Ajax’s general manager Edwin van der Sar has so far been thwarted in his attempt to get the influential midfielder to pen a new deal but he remains hopeful that this can be the case and that  will eradicate the attempts from AS Roman to snare Gravenberch.

Meanwhile, the Sons of the Gods have cancelled the contract of Abdelhak Nouri, the club’s Moroccan ace who recently woke from a coma some three years after suffering a heart attack on duty for the cub.

He was hospitalised after falling to the floor in a pre-season friendly against Germans Werder Bremen. The club have paid his salary since then (July 2017), but ahead of an automatic renewal in July they have moved to cancel the deal.

There has been an ongoing dispute between the club and Nouri’s family. They are looking for a financial settlement after Ajax admitted providing “inadequate” medical treatment on the pitch when the tragedy occurred.

The club are said to have offered £4.5million to the Nouri family by way of compensation but no agreement has yet been made. Nouri suffered serious and permanent brain damage despite being revived on the pitch and taken by air ambulance to hospital.