Last week, former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique announced through his agency that a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has been concluded.
It was a bold statement, which Enrique later retracted, deleting a YouTube video in which he said “this player is ours” and calling it “fake news” on Twitter.
“This is the same agent as me, Raiol’s team,” the Spaniard said. “We recently had a meeting in London, this is our player.”
As Melissa Reddy from Sky Sports explained, Gravenberch was an interesting player last year only to choose Bayern, where he has started only four games so far this season.
Links with the loan move resurfaced in January and now the 20-year-old could presumably be part of a midfield upgrade this summer.
However, according to James Pearce of The Athletic, “nothing has been decided yet at this stage,” and although the Dutchman “will be one of many under consideration,” journalists insist that Jude Bellingham is “clearly a priority.”
Pearce also acknowledged Chelsea’s Mason Mount as a “serious option” if Chelsea decides to sell while retaining interest in Wolves’ Mateus Nunez.
Perhaps most interestingly, he took a less decisive stance than his colleague David Ornstein when it came to suggestions that signing a contract with Bellingham was “increasingly unlikely.”
“As for Bellingham, any club talking to him and his representatives will have a clear idea of what Dortmund wants in terms of fees,” he wrote.
“If you get a firm commitment from the player regarding his choice, then this should avoid any betting war.”
The popular line, including from Pearce, is that Bellingham will be attacked along with at least one other midfielder, and Mount is not considered an alternative to the teenager from Dortmund.
Then Gravenberch will almost certainly be shortlisted along with players like Mount and Nunez, and Florian Neuhaus from Borussia Monchengladbach may even return to the fight.
It remains to be seen whether Enrique got his wires mixed up or just hurried, although efforts are clearly being made to remove any traces of his statements.