Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong has emerged as a target for reigning Serie A champions Juventus, with the Old Trafford club potentially at risk of losing the Dutch winger on a free transfer as he is out of contract at the end of this season.
The rumoured interest from Turin has immediately drawn comparisons with Juve’s capture of Paul Pogba in similar circumstances in 2012, with United eventually paying a world record £89m transfer fee to re-sign the Frenchman four years later.
Previously a Feyenoord player from the age of 10, Chong made the switch to United aged 16 in 2016. He was immediately hailed as a top prospect, and although a knee injury ruined his 2016/17 season, he was named the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year in 2018.
Chong played for the first-team during 2018/19 pre-season and made his official debut as a substitute in a Champions League against Juventus a few months later. By the end of last season, he had made four first-team appearances and has another four so far in 2019/20.
The 19-year-old, who celebrates his 20th birthday in December, has given United fans less reason to get excited than the likes of Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams and Angel Gomes, all of whom have also played first-team games this season.
Chong has struggled to make the same impact as some of his contemporaries at the higher level and so far has appeared the least likely to make the step long-term.
But interest from Juventus, reported by the Daily Mail, suggests he is still seen as a prospect for an elite club. The story claims that other un-named European sides are also keeping an eye on things. As yet, no agreement to extend a contract that expires in June has been reached.
Despite largely overlooking Chong for selection in recent weeks, it is worth noting that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to want the Netherlands Under-21 international to stay.
United would be owed a sizeable compensation fee should Chong leave as a free agent and sign for an English club. But the compensation is usually negligible when players move abroad.